New Poll shows slight majority favors keeping religion out of politics.

It’s a very slim margin—only 52% of respondents—but it’s a majority just the same and hopefully the start of a continuing trend. The big surprise was in regards to where the shifts in opinion occurred:

The results suggest a potentially significant shift among conservative voters in particular. In 2004, 30% of conservatives said the church should stay out of politics while today 50% of conservatives today express that view.

Conservatives are now more in line with moderates and liberals when it comes to their views on mixing religion and politics. “Similarly, the sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats that previously existed on this issue have disappeared,” Pew reports.

Increasingly voters say they are uncomfortable listening to politicians express religious views. In 2004, 40% said it made them uncomfortable versus 46% today.

Perhaps there’s a silver lining to the past seven and a half years after all. The best bit of news is that there may be a bit of a backlash in the Republican party. Though it seems us godless liberals are being held to similar standards:

The Democratic Party also made notable gains among voters who view the party as religion-friendly—a belief generally associated with the Republican Party. In 2006, 26% of voters said Democrats were religion-friendly, today 38% of voters said the same. More voters, 43%, also believe that non-religious liberals have too much sway over the party, versus 37% in August 2007.

The Republican Party still dominates as the friendliest toward religion, according to 52% of voters surveyed. However, that view also comes with backlash. Nearly half, 48%, said religious conservatives hold too much sway in the party ranks, up from 43% in August 2007.

I wish we had as much influence as some of these people seem to think, but it’s still good to see that the pendulum is swinging our way for a change.

25 thoughts on “New Poll shows slight majority favors keeping religion out of politics.

  1. I’m a republican, for the fact that i would like a less intrusive federal government. (I know, the party is far away from being about small government anymore, but i don’t have a lot of choices.  Maybe i should be libertarian, but really what’s the point in that?)  I’m personally sick of the republican party being thought of as the “christian party” and the democrats as “not”. 

    Perhaps it’s my own fault for not attending the meetings to show an atheist face in the crowd.  Then again, i wouldn’t like most of the crowd.

    God is dead, long live reason.

  2. The only good reason I’ve found to vote for either candidate comes down to supreme court justice nominations. The recent 5-4 decision to recognize the RIGHT of citizens to bear arms is too scary to believe. Read the dissenters’ reasons and it gets even scarier. Thomas Jefferson was one of the leaders who recognized the separation of church and state was a good thing. If George Carlin were still alive and running for president, he’d get my vote! If the Constitution was good enough for Thomas and George, it’s good enough for me.  tongue wink

  3. zee, why are you a member of a group that contains a large number of members who have made it their life’s work to fuck with gays?  This is a blatant instance of religion intruding into American’s lives.

    I also thought that the Republican party was for states rights; if this is so, why are they fighting with states regarding the use of medical marijuana? 

    Libertarians aren’t any better, the Libertarian presidential candidate authored the Defense of Marriage act, which totally fucked with the rights of gays.  This is another instance of religious laws intruding into American’s lives.  If it were a states rights issue, the act would not have prevented the federal government from recognizing gay marriage.

  4. Zee is a Republican because he/she feels it best fits their stance, or at least at one time it did. I don’t have a problem with that especially given that Zee has said he/she is disgusted with the party as it currently stands.

    My father-in-law is Republican, but he too voted Democrat last election and probably will this time as well. He’s not happy with where the party has gone either.

    I’ve voted Republican in the past for some candidates (mostly on the State level, but not always) and while I’m closer to the Democrats on most issues there’s enough dumb shits in that party to keep me an independent.

  5. The Republicans have caused me to be a single issue voter.  As soon as the Republican party starts recognizing that gay relationships are equal to straight relationships, and repeals the anti-gay laws, then I would probably start voting for Republicans again.  The last Republican I voted for was Reagan, and I regret doing that.  The last non-Democrat I voted for was Perot.

    I am not a liberal, I am a fiscal conservative and a life member of the NRA.  I find it very offensive that Republicans use my sexual orientation as a wedge issue and as a matter of policy prohibit the recognition of my relationship with my husband.

    I believe that when people vote for Republicans, or for Bob Barr, that they are voting for homophobia and the continued repression of gays.

  6. I find that poll interesting since this is the first election in a long time where BOTH parties are trying to court the Fundies (Obama not quite so much).  If they’re not going for the masses who believe, they are definitely going for the religious leaders who exploit them.  Unfortunately, the religious vote still has a LOT of power.  It will be some time before that goes away (if ever)

  7. Obama’s religious orientation confuses me.  Obama had been going to a United Church of Christ (UCC), which is a very liberal Christian church and was one of the first main line Christian churches that allowed gay clergy.  There is a joke that UCC stands for Unitarians Considering Christ.  Yet, he seems at times to be pandering to the Right Wing.

  8. Obama’s religious orientation confuses me……..he seems at times to be pandering to the Right Wing

    Of course he’s pandering to the Religious Right.  He wants to get elected, doesn’t he?  It is an unfortunate fact of the presidential race that the candidates have to at least make an offering to the RR, otherwise they don’t get elected.

    A presidential candidates religious affiliation should confuse you.  I really could care less what Obama’s faith is.  As long as he makes good on his talk about not pushing one faith over another or pushing faith over non-faith, then I have more important things to focus on.

    McCain, on the other hand, wears his faith on his sleeve and has given me every reason to believe that he doesn’t like any religion but Christianity and his administrations policies will reflect that.

    On the other hand, Obama has given me no reason to believe he’s being honest about what he’s promising and no reason to believe he can handle the Republicans if he is being honest.  Anyone who thinks the Democrats won’t lie to get elected just like the Republicans hasn’t been paying attention.  The only thing I can say about Obama there is that he’s more convincing, but it’s probably because he’s a better liar.

    I’m voting for Ron Paul.  He won’t win, but when the next presidential scandal hits (and it will, it doesn’t matter if Obama or McCain win) I can say with a clear conscience: “I didn’t vote for that asshole.”

  9. I’m voting for Obama because I don’t want to see another homophobe in the oval office.  There is no way that Obama can be overall worse than McCain.

    From johnmccain.com:

    The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman.

  10. Like I said earlier, “supreme court justice nominations.”  wink  excaim By the way, homophobia usually indicates a closeted homosexual, so maybe there is some hope. (Larry Craig, etc)

  11. There is no way that Obama can be overall worse than McCain.

    Oh Hell no.  My dog would make a better president than McCain.  I just wish that, as a people, our standards were higher.  Obama’s no prize either, and I hate having to choose between the two that offend me the least.

  12. Yesterday on CNN I heard some opinons of a few right and left wing political analists regarding Biden.  The good things were that Biden has lots of political experience, and that he is Very Good at International matters.  The only bad thing I heard is that Biden likes to hear himself talk.

    Biden is in his sixth term in the Senate and is the current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

    It sounds like the bottom line is that Biden’s strengths are a very good complement to Obama’s weaknesses, and that Biden gives long winded speeches.  One other thing that was brought up is that Biden is very outspoken and will not be playing second fiddle to Obama.

  13. Since when was political experience a ‘good thing’?  These last eight years we’ve had plenty of political experience, and we’re SO much happier for it.

  14. The political experience thing was being brought up by McCain and his followers, along with a lack of international relations experience; Biden plugged that hole.  From what I saw of Obama going to Europe, it seems that he can probably hold his own anyway.

  15. I think the choice of Biden will blow up in Obama’s face.
    The main criticism of Obama is that he is a neophyte with little experience in Washington. Standing next to Joe Biden only amplifies this perception. Biden looks like a president while Obama looks like his youthful campaign manager. The election from here on will be Biden vs McCain.

  16. I will be voting Libertarian this year. Not because I think they have a chance in hell of winning and not because I like Barr, but because I like the principles the party espouses: freedom from gov’t intrusion, ending the personal income tax, freedom of speech, action, conscience, religion etc.
    I would like to see a viable third party. For too long Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum have been dancing the two-man serial gang-rape rhumba with this country. Many of the issues being used by the two main parties to divide and conquer the voters (gay marriage, abortion, drug use, school prayer) are declared outside the govt’s sphere of authority by the Libertarian platform. The Democrats are intent on micromanaging our personal lives and saving us from our bad habits, while the Republicans declare they have a mandate to make our moral choices for us and bring us home to Jesus. A pox on both their houses.

  17. Biden vs McCain may make for an interesting race, but playing 2nd fiddle to his own subordinate COULDN’T be a good thing for Obama.

  18. I will be voting Libertarian this year. Not because I think they have a chance in hell of winning and not because I like Barr, but because I like the principles the party espouses: freedom from gov’t intrusion, ending the personal income tax, freedom of speech, action, conscience, religion etc.

    Bob Barr?  A libertarian?  Ha!  This is the same idiot who, when he was in congress organized a (failed) boycott of the military because they were allowing Wiccans to meet on base and Wicca isn’t a real religion.  It’s an evil cult of satan worshippers.  I can only imagine what he thinks of Atheists.

    Yeah.. Vote for Barr.. I’ll get right on that.  I don’t know who let him run on the Libertarian ticket, but they should be clued in to that morons voting record.  He’s probably running as a Libertarian because no one would have him.  Maybe he subscribes to a lot of the Libertarian values, but freedom of religion and speech are not among them.  If he HAS changed his tune, then he has to admit it in public that he’s been an idiot up till now and explain WHY we should believe him before my vote comes anywhere near him.

  19. swordsbane:
    Good points all. I’m voting for the party, not Barr. I want to throw a turd in the two-party punch bowl.

  20. swordsbane:
    Good points all. I’m voting for the party, not Barr. I want to throw a turd in the two-party punch bowl.

    Only the Dems and Reps have enough power to make their candidate do what they say.  For everyone else, you’re voting for the candidate, not the party.  Of course the Libertarians have as much chance of getting Barr elected President as I have of getting elected, but if you want to send a message or take a stand, you can do better than that.  If the Libertarians would have someone like Barr as a candidate, then I submit to you that they don’t stand for the things you think they do.

  21. Libertarianism is all well and good until you realize that as a practical political philosophy it’s right up there with communism, anarchism, and utopianism. Everyone wants some of the things listed as valuable to the Libertarian Party, but only the truly naive would desire the full package. Having a full-on Libertarian system would have all the charm of politics in Darfur or Rwanda, right up until a more functional system asserted itself (probably with violence.)

    Even Ralph Nader’s got a more savvy handle on political realities than the Libertarians. Governments exist to provide support for communities. A community that cannot and will not support communities isn’t a government, it’s a name tag on a non-entity pretending to be a government with none of the responsibilities or capabilities of a government.

  22. it’s a name tag on a non-entity pretending to be a government with none of
    the responsibilities or capabilities of a government.

    Kinda like what we got now smile

    Seriously, it doesn’t matter what you call it.  Labels don’t mean a thing and often distract you from what’s important.  It’s okay to cherry-pick from different ideologies, but say what you mean.  I bet if you ask ten different people what communism or socialism or Libertarianism means, they’ll either quote from a dictionary or you’ll get ten different answers.  Labels are a convenient description, but not if the person you’re talking to gets an entirely different idea from the label than you do.  If you see an Obama speech and you say “I like what he said.” then people think you’re a Democrat.  If you look at McCain and say “I like his stance on Gun control” then people say you’re a Republican, or at least a conservative.  I’ve read the Libertarian speel, and a lot of it looks good, but when someone like Bob Barr gets in, I have to wonder what ELSE they stand for, or worse, what they don’t care about, but saying they’re socialist doesn’t really say anything.  Democrats are socialist, and communistic to some degree.  It’s just a question of degrees.  Conversations that start with terms like that end up arguing semantics instead of issues.  I got better things to do.

    This is why I hate political parties.  There are too many labels, and we spend far too much time on the Primaries because of it.  Primary elections should be like religion, private and done using your own money.  Stop trying to get me to vote twice for someone, especially when I can’t be sure if even either of my votes actually counts.

    Just have however many people want to run for president and are eligible (don’t get me started on what ‘eligible’ should mean) and give each of them five minutes on live television broadcast (then re-broadcast for a week or two) nationally.  Send the audio track to the radio stations and put the transcript in libraries and on the internet.  No one gets left out and no one has an advantage over another.  Then let’s do the vote and get back to running the damn country.  What’s so difficult about that?  I’ll pay my tax money for that, not for this circus they call the general election.  Maybe if we did that, the Democrats and Republicans wouldn’t have control of the government.  We’re trying to elect the right people for the job.  Let’s act like it.

  23. Barr is not for Liberty, he wrote the fucking Defense of Marriage Act, which was thinly veiled as being a states rights issue.

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