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Blue and red clergy

Blue and red clergy


Verdant Labs … recently published an extensive chart on the average political affiliations of various professions. To create the graphic, the company aggregated data from the Federal Election Commission on contributions to political parties, and used that information as a proxy for political views.

… midwives, taxi drivers, flight attendants, park rangers, pediatricians and architects are all more likely to lean to the left than the right. In contrast, business owners, talk show hosts, beer wholesalers, surgeons and Catholic priests are more likely to be conservative.

Speaking of Catholic priests, here’s Verdant Labs’ breakout for clergy:

Verdant religion

Isn’t it peculiar that Episcopal priests are broken out as a separate category? Why not Methodists? Baptists?

To explore other professions, follow the Verdant Labs link.

Posted by John B. Chilton


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William Moorhead

I have a hunch — and it’s only a hunch — that one reason why Roman Catholic priests skew conservative is because of sexuality issues — marriage, contraception, abortion. These override the social justice issues, about which the Roman Church officially is actually pretty clear (as are the Scriptures….)

Anand Gnanadesikan

For some of us abortion- insofar as it involves the taking of innocent life- is also a social justice issue… though I take your point.

JC Fisher

I wonder how that demographic on “Catholic priests” breaks down. Are those exclusively U.S. citizen RC priests, or just priests who are serving IN the U.S.? [I’m guessing the former, who are skewing more and more conservative, as the Vat2 generation priests die off, and the “John Paul 2” generation priests become a larger %]

I know some Irish priests in the U.S. who, if they could vote (here), wouldn’t look much like that piechart!

Of course, there’s another BIG reason RC priests skew as Republican as they do: all male! [We all know about the “gender gap”.]

Anand Gnanadesikan

It’s worth noting that this is based on FEC records of contributions… so it is really a case of *politically active* members of a profession versus all members of a profession. This would tend to support your hypothesis (although non-citizens who are permanent residents can give to campaigns).

But focusing on giving it may also skew things in one direction or another (I suspect that those of us who are, for example, anti-abortion but also anti-war, are less likely to give to either party).

Jerald Liko

At first glance at this breakout, I felt tempted to give our priests another pat on the back. As long as “feeding the poor” and “caring for the sick” are considered liberal values, you can count me a liberal.

On second glance, though, I’m reminded that we are all expected to challenge ourselves to make new disciples of Jesus (borrowing from Bishop Curry there). If Episcopal priests are true blue, and missionaries are solid red, is God calling us to work harder in the mission field?

James Yazell

What I find even more interesting is that the majority of those working in religion lean blue. Certainly seems to run counter to the narrative that religion is largely a conservative enterprise.

Whit Johnstone

It’s long been noted that Episcopalians get an excessive amount of attention from the secular press relative to our size.

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