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.