The Pew Research Center has just revealed their results from a poll asking the public if religious institutions should refrain from expressing their political opinion. The results, when compared with the results from a previous study in 2004, show that more people think that religion should stay separate from politics.
With incidents such as Rev. Wright’s highly publicized sermons or the Westboro Baptist Church’s constant prostests, it’s really not suprising that people are starting to prefer to make up their own mind about which side of a position to take than having their church decide for them. However, what IS suprising in this study is that all of the change in opinion has come from conservatives.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that most of the reconsideration of the desirability of religious involvement in politics has occurred among conservatives. Four years ago, just 30% of conservatives believed that churches and other houses of worship should stay out of politics. Today, 50% of conservatives express this view.
So all these religious zealots and evangelical voters we keep hearing about seem to be in decline, not on the rise, as the left would have us think. As someone who has religious beliefs sometimes I can’t help but be offended by the depiction of religious conservatives by the left-wing and main-stream media. I’m not really shocked, or saying that it’s unexpected, but it still bothers me. What probably bothers me more is that the average joe doesn’t see through all the obvious mischaracterization.
Personally, I don’t care whether a pastor expresses his religious view or not, it’s really his choice. If someone is having trouble picking a side of a political debate, I see nothing wrong with them turning to their religious leaders for guidance. Everyone has somebody they go to for guidance when they are having difficulty making a decision, whether it be friends, parents, family, or their pastor/priest.
For myself, I have my religious beliefs, which influence my morals. Those morals are used then to guide my political opinions. I would not say my religion directly dictates my political views, and I would never make up my mind on a political issue simply because the sermon last Sunday told me which side to take. I, like most people, like to hear all sides of the issue and make up my mind accordingly and I think some (mostly the left and MSM) aren’t giving most American people enough credit. But then again, when have they?