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Religion & the 2016 race for president – Pew Research report

Religion & the 2016 race for president – Pew Research report

The Pew Research Center yesterday released Faith and the 2016 Campaign, a report on a new opinion survey.

A graphic that caught the media’s attention:


Detailed tables show how respondents, grouped by broad denominational categories, rate candidates. For instance, the detailed table for Bernie Sanders: Sanders

RNS reports: Voters warm to candidates who are not religious

A contender’s lack of strong faith is not the deal breaker it once was for voters, according to a survey released Wednesday (Jan. 27).

The “Religion and Politics” survey by Pew Research even finds Americans have a kinder view of atheists as potential presidential timber than before. The share of Americans who said they’d be less likely to vote for an atheist is down from 61 percent in August 2007 to 51 percent in the new survey.

We don’t need the New York Times to know,

A good segment of evangelical voters appear to have blithely abandoned both the Christian-nation candidacy of Mr. Cruz and the kinder, gentler social conservatism of Mr. Rubio in favor of Mr. Trump, who is unabashedly ignorant of the biblical imperatives that form the foundation of evangelical culture and politics. That Mr. Trump is a Presbyterian and not evangelical is not the issue. It’s that he doesn’t pretend to understand evangelicalism, or even his own mainline Protestantism, failures that would have been, in recent elections, disqualifiers for evangelical Republican voters.

Recently, John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Action, said:

Trump is a thrice married owner of casinos with strip clubs and would give us the first ‘First Lady’ who has proudly posed in the nude while supporting gay marriage and funding Planned Parenthood with taxpayer money.

UPDATE: The Archbishop of Canterbury weighs in. Christian Post:

The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the leader of the Anglican Communion, has asserted that the potential presidency of Republican candidate Donald Trump would be “very challenging” and problematic.

Welby made the comments on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” program, when he was asked about his thoughts on Trump’s suitability as the next president of the United States and leader of the free world.

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JC Fisher

our pledge of allegiance includes, “one nation, under God,”

Note that the phrase “under God” was only added in the 1950s, at the behest of anti-Communist white Evangelicals, who were likely to tar anyone they disagreed w/ (see re Civil Rights leaders—who were often Christian ministers!) as “Communists”. [The original Pledge wording, “one nation, indivisible”, made far more rhetorical sense.]

James Byron

Ditto “In God we Trust,” which, before the ’50s Red Scare, was preceded by the unofficially “E pluribus unum” (From many, one), a much better fit for the melting pot ideal.

I accept “ceremonial deism” as a practical way to avoid literalist absurdities, but the flipside is vigorously campaigning to ensure that religion is no bar to public office.

Paul Woodrum

On the one hand, without saying which one, our money says “In God we trust,” and our pledge of allegiance includes, “one nation, under God,” so I guess it stands to reason that we should elect leaders who at least believe in some god as well as themselves, not necessarily in that order.

On the other hand, our Constitution bans any religious test for holding public office but religion prudently should be taken into consideration if religious belief is as crazy or as opportunistic, as some held this year by some candidates for the presidency.

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