"This has been mostly a sheep day, and of course studies have been interrupted." John Muir

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Republicans and Democrats Found Not "Friendly" to Religion

The New York Times reported the findings today of a fascinating poll done by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

The headline finding was that people are finding the Republican Party less friendly to religion. Only 47% (from 55% last year) find the G.O.P. as a friendly home for "religion" (the assumption, I guess, is that "religion" means conservative Christians). Let this Christian state for the record that I didn't think the Republican Party could get less friendly toward what I consider to be religion.

On a related--and slightly more hilarious--note, the Democrats went from being 29% religion-friendly to a mere 26%. What's a poor Democrat to do? I vote Democratic but would have to agree that wishy-washy, mealy-mouthed, policy-starved, creepy-personalitied, Democrats are hardly what I would call "friendly" to anyone with actual convictions.

For me, the most interesting paragraph in the article was this one:
"Of the topics addressed by clergy during religious services, 92 percent of respondents who attend religious services regularly said they had heard clergy speak about hunger and poverty, 59 percent said abortion, 53 percent said Iraq, 52 percent said homosexuality, and 40 percent said evolution or intelligent design. Only 24 percent said they heard clergy discuss stem cell research, and 21 percent immigration."

I preach every Sunday (whether I want to or not). Looking back on my own sermons, this is the breakdown of social issues that I would estimate I have addressed over the past year:

  • hunger and poverty--92% (I'm an average guy in this regard apparently);
  • abortion--0%
  • Iraq--100% (it's a poor church, several kids over there are family members);
  • homosexuality--1 or 2% (because no one cares);
  • evolution or intelligent design--0%;
  • immigration--95% (it's a bilingual parish with several new immigrants in the pews);
  • family violence--30%;
  • drug abuse and alcoholism--30%;
  • racism--65%.

Yeah, so I guess I'd fit into the poll at least somewhat. I don't find either party friendly to "religion," and I talk a lot about poor and hungry people. Go figure, given the gospel on these sorts of things.


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