Americans Support Christian Political Involvement
Special Report - May 14, 2008
The majority of Americans do not believe that Christians are “too involved in politics,” according to a recent survey conducted for Lifeway Research and the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The random survey of over 1,200 Americans, which was released May 7, asked participants to cite their level of agreement with the following statement: “I am concerned that at times Christians are too involved in politics.”
Among all Americans who participated in the poll, over half said they either “strongly disagreed” (32 percent) or “somewhat disagreed” (20 percent) with that statement. While four percent said they were “not sure,” 25 percent “strongly agreed” with the statement and 19 percent “somewhat agreed.” Among Americans who attend religious services at least weekly, the level of disagreement with the statement was higher65 percent of “religious” Americans disagreed that Christians are sometimes overly involved in politics. The individuals most likely to disagree with the statement that Christians are too involved in politics were those who identified themselves as “born again,” “evangelical” or “fundamentalist” (72 percent disagreed with the statement, compared to 27 percent who “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed).
“These results do not surprise me at all,” said Richard Land, president of the ERLC. “They underscore and reinforce the feedback I receive on a consistent basis from grassroots Christians of all perspectives, particularly conservative ChristiansCatholic and Protestant.”
Land continued, “The survey’s findings are particularly dramatic given the fact that LifeWay Research and the ERLC worded the poll’s question in a way that would elicit the most negative response possible, by using the word ‘politics’ as opposed to ‘social issues’ or ‘public policy.’ Politics has a negative connotation and is often perceived as partisan, rancorous, and something that many Christians feel is too ‘worldly.’ If we had posed the question, ‘I’m concerned that at times Christians are too involved in social issues or public policy,’ I am quite confident the level of disagreement with the statement would have been even higher.”
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