Liberal on Religion = Liberal on Politics?
Or conservative on religion = conservative on politics? Pew study shows high correlation.
It’s probably not surprising to most observers… the larger and particularly conservative religious groups in the United States also lean very heavily Republican, led by Mormons at 70%. After a 6 or 7 percentage point gap, you find the large Southern Baptist Convention and Church of the Nazarene. Then a few other large theologically conservative denominations.
On the other side of mid-point, Catholics are rated as 7% more Democrat-aligned. Not surprising that Unitarian Universalists, the most liberal Protestant denomination by some distance, the Pew survey finds at 84% Democratic… exceeded only by two historically black denominations at 87% and 92%.
What’s inside these numbers? (The short article and interesting chart are worth taking a quick look at.) Probably some direct connection – theologically conservative views lead to socially or economically conservative ones or vice-versa. But perhaps more significantly, that regional trends and others such as race and racial experiences play in heavily. And what about education?
I have no data at hand, but imagine what type of “higher education” (college or beyond) one has counts more than merely having a college education. For example, a whole lot of Mormons have degrees but quite often from Brigham Young University. And a good percentage of degrees for Evangelicals are from private, theologically conservative Christian colleges and universities. Think Liberty, Bob Jones, Wheaton, Biola, etc. And beyond these more-known schools there are hundreds of smaller ones. The fact that Wheaton (a sort of mid-point, potential bellwether school) may yet be in the midst of a “boundaries” crisis re. Christian/Muslim faith could be an indication of something.
That “something” might be that a largely-unnoticed movement, especially among younger Evangelicals has been significant. While this may have been stimulated initially by social issues, it is also impacting broader religious beliefs and conservative institutions.