New poll released on religious activists

Public Religion Research reports on the religious profiles of conservative and progress religious activists.

Leading researchers on religion and politics, Dr. John C. Green and Dr. Robert P. Jones, will be joined by prominent public intellectuals E.J. Dionne and Michael Cromartie at a press conference at the National Press Club at 1 p.m. on Tuesday September 15 to discuss the results of two new national polls of progressive and conservative religious activists.

The 2008 presidential election saw energetic involvement by both progressive and conservative religious activists, groups whose continued political engagement is evident in the debates over current issues such as health care, climate change, and gay and lesbian rights. These new surveys provide first-ever comparative portraits of two groups of highly religious, politically engaged activists who are often rivals in national politics and opponents on key issues of the day. Analysis will include demographics, civic engagement, general attitudes, and positions on major public policy issues.

Findings from the report:

The ?2009 ?Religious ?Activist ?Surveys ?were ?conducted ?by ?the ?Bliss Institute ?of ?Applied? Politics ?at ?the ?University ?of ?Akron ?in ?partnership ?with ?Public?Religion? Research.? These? first ?ever ?comparative ?surveys ?of ?conservative ?and progressive ?religious ?activists ?find? them? to ?be ?faithful, ?engaged,? and? divergent.?? Key findings include:


Conservative ?and? progressive? religious? activists ?are ?deeply ?religious,? but have strikingly? different ?religious ?profiles.? In ?terms ?of ?religious ?affiliation, ?conservative?activists ?are ?almost ?exclusively? Christian, ?whereas ?progressive ?activists ?are ?more?diverse. ?Among ?conservative ?activists,? 54% ?identify ?as ?evangelical ?Protestant, ?35%? as?Roman? Catholic, ?and? 9%? with ?Mainline? Protestantism. ??Among? progressive ?activists,?44% ?identify ?as ?Mainline ?Protestants; ?17%? as ?Roman? Catholics;?10% ?as ?evangelical?Protestants; ?12% ?as ?interfaith, ?mixed ?faith, ?or? Unitarian; ?6% ?Jewish; ?and ?8%? who? have?no? formal ?religious ?affiliation ?or ?identify ?as? formerly ?affiliated.?

In? terms ?of ?beliefs,? conservative? and ?progressive? religious? activists ?have ?strikingly? different ?beliefs ?about ?scripture. ?Nearly? half ?of ?conservatives? (48%) ?view ?scripture ?as?the? literal ?word ?of ?God, ?a ?view? held ?by ?only ?3% ?of ?progressives.??

In ?terms ?of ?practices,? both? groups ?of? activists? report ?religion? is? important ?in ?their? lives ?at ?higher ?levels ?than ?the ?public? at ?large. ??Among ?the ?conservative? religious?activists,? 96% ?say ?religion ?is ?extremely ?or ?very ?important ?in? their ?lives; ?among ?the?progressive? activists,? that ?figure ?is ?74%; ?among ?the ?public, ?it ?is? 62%.???

Issue ?priorities.

?Conservative ?and ?progressive? religious ?activists ?have? strikingly? different issue priorities.? A ?majority ?of ?conservative ?religious ?activists ?gave? priority ?to? abortion? and?same-sex?marriage,? while? progressive? religious ?activists ?gave ?priority ?to ?a? number of?issues, ?including? economic ?justice, ?the? environment, ?and ?peace. ?Conservative? religious ?activists ?overwhelmingly ?identify? abortion ?(83%)? and? same-sex? marriage (65%)? as? most ?important ?priorities ?among ?a? set ?of ?eight ?issue? areas. ?Fewer ?than? 10%? of? progressive ?religious ?activists? call ?those ?“most ?important” ?issues.?? Highest? priorities?for? progressive ?activists ?are? poverty ?(74%), ?health?care? (67%), ?environment ?(56%), jobs/economy ?(48%),? and ?the Iraq? war? (45%).???

Read the report here in pdf.

More here.

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