Faith in Public Life, one of the more influential outfits on the religious left, has released two polls that have caught the attention of religion blogs run by mainstream media outlets.
Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post suggests the pool data points to a “truce in the culture wars.” She writes:
The poll … concluded that attitudes about hot-button issues such as abortion, legal recognition of same-sex relationships and the size of government are changing among young people — possibly shifting or weakening the culture wars.
“What we see is younger Americans, including younger Americans of faith — they are not the culture war generation,” said Robert P. Jones, president of Public Religion Research. “They are bridging the divides that have entrenched the older generation.”
The Dallas Morning News and Reuters note that John McCain is the choice of voters who attend church weekly, but that Barack Obama seems to be the choice of people who attend church once or twice a month. Reuters also picks up on some intriguing findings about what church goers in various denominations hear from the pulpit:
[The poll] found that among the white evangelicals and black Protestants surveyed, 67 percent said their pastor speaks out about the issue of homosexuality — among Catholics that number drops to 37 percent.
But Catholics at 78 percent were the most likely to hear about abortion while attending a religious service.
Hunger and poverty topped the list of what Americans from a range of Christian denominations hear in church. Among white mainline Protestants, 88 percent reported their clergy speaking about such things; among Catholics, 90 percent did.
Immigration was at the bottom of the list. Among white evangelical Protestants only 12 percent reported their pastors speaking about the issue.