The more literally one reads the Bible, the less likely a white voter is willing to cast his or her ballot for a racial minority, according to a Baylor University survey of religious attitudes and practices, as reported in the Waco [Texas] Tribune
Additionally, members of churches that are entirely white are more than two times less likely to vote for a nonwhite candidate, says Kevin Dougherty, assistant professor of sociology at Baylor University.
“One of the most powerful predictors of voting behavior is the color of the church they (voters) came out of,” said Dougherty, who specializes in the study of religion, race and ethnicity. “It’s really a startling thing.”
Sociologists and ethnographers have long decried 11 a.m. Sunday as “the most segregated hour of the week” in America, he said. But the Baylor study seems to put teeth into those words, quantifying what the potential impact of such social segregation might be.
“At our most intimate level, with whom we worship or sit down to dinner or go to bed, that is what makes it easier to divide the world into ‘us vs.them.’ It is easy to be distrustful of ‘the other’ when you have no reason to recognize that someone is ‘just like me,’ ” Dougherty said.
“In a big swath of America, life is still color-coded,” Dougherty said.
The level of religious service attendance had no effect, according to the survey. However, spiritual affiliation, view of the Bible and the racial composition of congregations did, he said
See the study and read the article here.