America: a religious nation * 90% believe in God [vs. 22% in U.K., 4% in FR] * But 25% attend church weekly (40% claim to ) * Is our religiosity “a mile wide and an inch deep?” Smith: “MoralTherapeuticDeism” ↓ ↓ ↓ [be good] [feel good] [God: help me if RULES! self help! I get in trouble!]
6 Major Religious “Traditions” % PopReligious / Political “Distinctives”… Evangelical Prot. 25% “evangelism”; more conservative Mainline Prot. 20 “social justice”;more moderate Catholics 25+ split: traditional/centrist/liberal “Secular” 15+ non-religious group; more liberal Jewish <2 very liberal; pro-Israel policies Black Protestant 10 ECON liberal, moral conservative
The “12 Tribes” of U.S. Politics on the LEFT side… Percent vote for BUSH = Black Prot Muslim/Jewish Secular Relig. Left 17% 23% 26% 30%
The “12 Tribes” of U.S. Politics in the MIDDLE… Percent vote for BUSH = “Spiritual but Latinos Convertible White Bread not religious” Catholics Protestants 37% 45% 55% 58%
The “12 Tribes” of U.S. Politics on the RIGHT side… Percent vote for BUSH = Moderate Evang. Heartland Culture Religious Right Warriors 64% 72% 88%
The “God Gap” in Voting by tradition, AND by religious attendance …if HIGH (weekly or more than weekly) attendance, you will tend to vote REPUBLICAN by a 2:1 margin …on the flip side, those who NEVER attend any kind of religious services vote for DEMOCRATS by 2:1
“12 Tribes”: GROUP QUESTIONS… • What do you say are the most interesting[or important] findings from this study? • Where are you? Was it easy or hard to “fit”? • How did religion impact 2008 presidential race?
How did religion impact 2008? • Obama: mass emails claimed he’s a Muslim?[12% of U.S. population still believed it Nov. 4] • Republican nomination: Mitt Romney (Mormon) and Mike Huckabee (Southern Baptist minister) • Obama’s pastor: Reverend Jeremiah Wright and controversial sermons and statements… • * Conclusion: most voters prioritized the ECONOMY or the WAR when asked their “Most Important Issue”!!
How did religion impact 2008? • CONCLUSIONS: • These issues were not decisive in these contests – those who believed Obama rumors weren’t likelyto vote for him anyway; many did not vote at all. Romney was weakened a bit by Mormon issue. • OBAMA made slight gains among specific religious groups, like Latino Catholics & young evangelicals • the ECONOMY trumped religion as issue #1 in ‘08
Web EX • [online exercise] • …exploring religion in the U.S. • http://www.thearda.com/ • U.S. Congregational Membership reports [county / state] • Quick Stats – U.S. Denominations [intro / distribution / over time] • If you have time, feel free to look around the site and use other tools