Religious beliefs significantly tied to national political participation

June 24, 2008

A study recently published in Social Science Quarterly explores the effects of religious behaviors and beliefs on political participation and finds that religious beliefs play a more significant role than church attendance or religious traditions in political participation.

Robyn Driskell, Elizabeth Embry, and Larry Lyon, all of Baylor University, utilized data from the Baylor Religion Survey, one of the few nationally representative surveys to measure in detail multiple dimensions of religion and politics.

Religious beliefs affected political participation more than other measures of religious behavior. In addition, different types of religious beliefs influence political participation differently.

Generalized, macro religious beliefs affected national political participation. Macro beliefs include religious beliefs that involve broad, worldly concerns. Narrow, individually experienced micro beliefs that are personal and affect individual concerns had no effect on national politics.

Those who believe that God is directly involved in world affairs, such as evangelical Protestants, are less likely to be involved in world affairs. Believers in such an active God believe that if God determines worldly affairs, then there is little reason for individuals to participate in civic events. In contrast, if one believes that God is more inactive, as is common with Jews and mainline Protestants, then one would need to take action and more likely be politically engaged.

"Our results have wide-ranging implications for both the study of political participation and the field of religion," the authors conclude. "It is focused types of religious beliefs, more than broad religious traditions, which impact political participation."

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

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Nevaar
1 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2008
Maybe, just maybe, it's the result of uber-fundies and the like who know deep in their hearts what's best for me? PUUUKE! Most of us non-religious types are appalled at the thought of forcing our own morals on others, whereas religious zealots cannot resit forcing their own morality, by hook or by crook.

If politicians were selected based on skill and dedication to the 'American People' this country would certainly not be in the current sad state of affairs.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Jun 24, 2008
So then Nevaar I assume you'd be against taxing me to pay for welfare programs, which would be foisting your morality on me every bit as much as the "fundie" who wishes the government to beat me over the head with their version of the Bible.

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