The 54% of Americans who want church and state separated face difficult opposition ahead
Fifty-four percent of Americans think churches should steer clear of politics, according to a Pew Research Center poll announced Wednesday during a presidential campaign tinged with faith issues. Pew said it was the third consecutive poll in four years to reveal that Americans who favor churches speaking out.
Poll says most Americans want churches out of politics | Democracy, elections, and voting at Democracy Chronicles
“The public’s appetite for religious influence in politics is increasing in part because those who continue to identify with a religion have become significantly more supportive of churches and other houses of worship speaking out about political issues and political leaders talking more often about religion,” the survey found. “The [religious] ‘nones’ are much more likely to oppose the intermingling of religion and politics.”
While support might be growing for more religious influence on political issues, most Americans do not want their clergy to get involved with candidates. Though the percentage of Americans who said churches should come out in favor of candidates rose from 24 percent to 32 percent, 63 percent still say houses of worship should not back specific candidates.
“That seems to be where people are drawing the line,” said Rob Boston, spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “Most who say they want to see religion in public life are assuming religious organizations are going to echo their own political view.
“People are happy when the church speaks out in a way that coincides with what they believe. People are less enthusiastic about churches getting involved with politics when the political view clashes with their own,” Mr. Boston said.
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