When Politicians Determine Your Religious Beliefs

Source: The New York Times

By Michele Margolis

Ms. Margolis is the author of “From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity.”

CreditRonda Kimbrow/iStock, via Getty Images Plus

At first glance, President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court would seem a perfect reminder of why so many religious white Americans vote Republican: to promote conservative moral values. Religious values. Their values. The values that — the story goes — devout white Protestants and Catholics want to see in Washington.

As it turns out, that narrative has it partly backward. It’s not just that our religious beliefs affect our politics — it’s that our politics affect our religious choices. We don’t just take cues about politics from our pastors and priests; we take cues about religion from our politicians.

To see this, consider that as recently as the 1970s, white Republicans were no more religious than white Democrats. Today they are nearly 20 percent more likely to go to church regularly and likewise about 20 percent more likely to believe in God.

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Categories: Americas, The Muslim Times, USA

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