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Religious gap between Romney, Santorum supporters
Surveys & Statistics
Written by papa moronious   
Friday, 23 March 2012 22:27

At The LA Times:

Beyond the number of delegates and size of their fundraising efforts, there's another large gap between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: their views of whether there’s too much religion in politics.

A poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life has found that nearly 60% of Romney supporters believe that churches should step back from political and social issues, while 60% of Santorum supporters believe churches should play a more active role.

These sentiments were echoed by another sharp divide found between the candidates' supporters regarding their views on whether there's too little expression of religious faith by political leaders. For Romney's camp, there's little concern, with 24% agreeing that there's not enough religious discourse. But 55% of Santorum supporters see a deficit in religious speech by politicians.

As for the nation on a whole, the poll unearthed another interesting trend. The largest number of Americans in the poll's 10-year history believe there is too much expression of religious faith by politicians. In 2010, the last national election year, 37% said there was too little expression compared to 29% saying there was too much. Now, the numbers are nearly reversed, at 30% and 38% respectively.

whitemice  - Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-03-26 05:49:51
Put me on record that there is not enough religious dialog but an excess of religious posturing.

Dialog might be a survey of Mormon fundamentals and to sit down with Mr. Romney and go through them asking what statements he agrees with and which statements he doesn't; that's dialog. A good interview of Mr. Santorum by a Catholic theologian might even be able to get him to say something interesting.

These polls for me raise the question of why the media is always pondering if a candidates religious convictions effect voters; often taking the tone that doing so is almost discriminatory. But considering what someone claims to be their beliefs about humanity, human nature, and the substance of virtue and/or evil? Yea, that's not relevant....
PineHall  - re: Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-03-29 09:36:01
whitemice wrote:
Put me on record that there is not enough religious dialog but an excess of religious posturing.

Dialogging would destroy their carefully crafted message to reach as many people as possible with the minimal amount of alienation and at the same time inspire their supporters. Posturing is safer.
laika  - re: Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-03-29 22:25:18
PineHall wrote:
Dialogging would destroy their carefully crafted message...

Yup, it's hard to imagine a politician deviating from the script and talking spontaneously about what they really believe. That "carefully crafted message," that all-important presentation, is all there is and a sort of vague narrative sketch that scores with a focus group seems to be enough to satisfy most these days. Posturing is all that we can expect.
laika  - re: Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-04-01 00:02:46
whitemice wrote:
But considering what someone claims to be their beliefs about humanity, human nature, and the substance of virtue and/or evil? Yea, that's not relevant....

(My emphasis on the quote.) Yes, "what someone claims." How relevant is that in the end? A 20th century president who talked a lot about his faith goes down as a huge failure in the minds of millions of people, while another who rarely went to church and whose wife consulted astrologists to help him make decisions is revered as a Great Leader. What difference did what they said about their beliefs ultimately make regarding the decisions they made or the outcomes of those decisions?

How does God-talk - however sincere or in depth - inform us about a candidate's fitness to lead and make the right decisions? Is a Christian always going to make a better leader than a Mormon? Is there a hierarchy of better choices, maybe Prot, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Mormon and then Buddhist? (Muslims need not apply, of course.) Is a president who prays before making a stupid decision preferable to a really sharp atheist?
emperorbma  - "status quo-ism"   |2012-04-01 04:14:18
I suspect what drives this from the standpoint of the everyday person is the fear that if people of another religion got in the leader's chair they'd try to make everyone in the US into whatever their religion or irreligion is. Somehow, I think many [nominally Christian] people have trouble with the fact that even unbelievers can be civic minded, unbiased and effective leaders...

It's a similar to problem to China, except in reverse. In China, the Party entrenches atheism and doesn't allow anyone with a religious faith to (officially) participate in government at all. Here, the issue is that the common man has an unreasonable fear a fear of minority beliefs getting control of the government and using it against the Christian religion and, consequently, won't vote for anyone who isn't a member of a Christian group that is sufficiently close to the average Protestant or Catholic in doctrine. [... and, historically speaking, the "or Catholic" is fairly recent]
PineHall  - re: re: Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-04-01 09:44:43
laika wrote:
How does God-talk - however sincere or in depth - inform us about a candidate's fitness to lead and make the right decisions?

Not just God talk, but in general you want a person who shares the same values as you do so that they would make the same decisions you would make. However, with a carefully crafted message to convince the majority it is hard to really know. And the majority in America is not necessarily correct in their thinking. All this carefully crafted God-talk is for the most part nothing more than lightly Christian flavored Deism in my book.
SteveGus   |2012-04-02 21:46:10
A politician's religion in itself is not a major factor. Religion brings several potentially negative factors into play.

The first set of issues revolve around matters of authoritarianism and autocracy. No, I could not accept a Scientologist as President, nor a follower of Sun Myung Moon or Hare Krishna. Faiths that claim high authority for their earthly leaders are all suspect to some degree.

Belief that the end times are upon us is for me an absolute disqualification for political office. I wish the media were savvier about this belief system and could recognize the signs and ask pertinent questions. (Michelle Bachmann carrying on about Israel gave me the willies.)

The other issue is of judgment. Realize that Mitt Romney belongs to a faith that teaches that Pre-Columbian America was settled by Semites from the ancient Near East, who built walled cities, drove chariots, and forged steel swords. We can be highly confident that none of this is true: confident enough that I think it's legitimate to say that anyone who espouses it has either not examined the matter or allowed themselves to be misled. Again, think of Scientology's sci-fi mythology. I think that beliefs like this do make me question a person's judgment, even if it isn't nice to say so.
PerpetualAgnostic   |2012-04-03 17:37:34
I think the reality is that we have enough data from the past few centuries to know that politicians from numerous religions have governed as well as the others.

So regardless of how silly are some of the claims from their professed' religions, in the end that seems to not matter too much.

Perhaps it's because most religions that we have in mind seem to have found ways to reconcile their theology with normally worldly lifestyles.
vlalston   |2012-04-14 21:10:25
Politics are politics - Faith is Faith!
whitemice  - SPAM?   |2012-04-15 08:27:01
I think this is forum SPAM.
whitemice  - re: re: Dialog vs. Posturing   |2012-03-29 12:49:34
PineHall wrote:
Posturing is safer.

Yes. But far less interesting.
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