Churches Should Keep Out of Politics, Poll Says

This is an interesting survey (thanks to Kelly M.); a slim majority of Americans (52 percent) think churches should keep out of politics. This is up from 44 percent just four years ago. Perhaps when people got a taste of the religious right via the Bush administration (which only partly tried to appease the religious right), they figured out that maybe faith-based politics isn’t so great, after all.

This surprised me a bit:

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that most of the reconsideration of the desirability of religious involvement in politics has occurred among conservatives. Four years ago, just 30% of conservatives believed that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Today, 50% of conservatives express this view.

Yet it’s not hard to figure out that, with government programs such as “faith-based initiatives” come government strings. And perhaps many religious conservatives are figuring out that, when they alienate independents and the secular free-market movement, they no longer participate in a winning coalition. Grover Norquist points out that, when the religious right merely calls on government to leave religious beliefs alone, the faction can play nicely with others. But when religious conservatives try to impose faith-based restrictions and spend tax dollars to promote religion, they make enemies out of those loyal to liberty.

One thought on “Churches Should Keep Out of Politics, Poll Says”

  1. It doesn’t really surprise me all that much. I believe there’s a historical precedent for church leaders in Europe being advocates for a separation of church and state because the medieval marriage between the two meant that the local secular authority had the power to dictate church doctrine. When a more-liberal secular leader is trying to prevent unrest between Catholic and Protestant factions in his country, the church factions don’t like it much.

    There are so many different religions in the U.S. that ALL of them feel like persecuted minorities when the govt. gets involved in their activities–which is the natural and inevitable result of a faith/politics merger.

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