Study: Churchgoing Conservatives are More Moderate on Race, Immigration, and Identity than Conservatives Who Do Not Go to Church


Emily Ekins shares the findings of her Cato Institute study in a piece at The New York Times titled “The Liberalism of the Religious Right.”  A taste:

…new data suggest the left may have a lot more common ground with some of these conservatives than it thinks.  In a Democracy Fund Voter Study Group report, I found that religious conservatives are far more supportive of diversity and immigration than secular conservatives.  Religion appears to actually be moderating conservative attitudes, particularly on some of the most polarizing issues of our time: race, immigration and identity.

Churchgoing Trump voters have more favorable feelings toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Muslims and immigrants compared with nonreligious Trump voters.  This holds up even while accounting for demographic factors like education and race.

Read the entire piece here.

3 thoughts on “Study: Churchgoing Conservatives are More Moderate on Race, Immigration, and Identity than Conservatives Who Do Not Go to Church

  1. It’s almost like the GOP is an alliance of decent, hard-working, churchgoing people on the one hand, and on the other hand deplorable jerks who are racist, misogynistic, etc…. If only someone had had the foresight to point out this unholy compromise made for the sake of political supremacy.

    It’s a funny thing, being half decent and half deplorable–it means that the group gets to complain about neglected family values, the moral decline of the country, etc, while remaining unaccountable to those values in the social sphere as a group. Thus we have Donald Trump as the face of evangelical America.


  2. As this article confirms, when white American evangelicals actually practice this particular measurable aspect of biblical and historical orthodoxy, i..e., the discipline of weekly worship, their worldview is measurably impacted. There is often a tension between “the world” (here, cultural conventions) and what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that growing conformity to the Bible and into the image of God is a mark of authentic salvation and discipleship. That naturally includes seeing all people as having great dignity and value as God’s image bearers and concern for those who are impoverished and those who are immigrants, among others. If you see what Russell Moore and Thomas Kidd write on these matters, you see them pushing people like me to ask, does my culture measure up to the Bible? If not, then the Bible has authority as God’s word. Count me among those who are active wrestling with those questions and seeking to become more faithful to the Bible and to God, i.e., being sanctified. Thus, while these concerns have been labeled as “liberal” in our political discourse, the proper category, for a Christian ought to be, what is Biblical? Those who don’t actually go to church are much less likely to have been actually converted and thus are not being sanctified by the intake of the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit. In that case, yes, what we see is a nationalistic faith, which has historically been turned against those who do not fit into their “imagined community.” I suspect that this gap will widen as many practicing white American evangelicals conclude that, as is fitting for sojourners, we do not have a political home.


  3. But both groups have little difference in their voting patterns, so pardon me for not high-fiving the religious conservatives for being slightly less insane on social issues.


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