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Southern Religion

Evangelical Protestants are in the declining minority on gay marriage

Religious Connections has the years of Pew Forum polling data and commentary.

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Politics, Poll | , | Comments Off on Evangelical Protestants are in the declining minority on gay marriage

Christian right wing tries to mumble bad policy past evangelical disapproval

Dan at Bold Faith Type charcoals the right-wing Christian pablum spooned out by Tony Perkins and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) on the Family Research Council’s weekly radio show. DeMint was trying to mumble his way illogically past majority evangelical disapproval of the policies he’s pursuing:

Perhaps he has read the most recent public opinion polling about evangelicals. A February survey from Pew revealed that when it comes to federal spending, evangelicals are much like Americans in general. They may say they want to reduce spending, but when it comes to specific programs, less than 40 percent support the GOP’s cruel, disastrous proposal cuts to priorities such as healthcare, education, and economic aid to struggling Americans.

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Poll, Religion | | Comments Off on Christian right wing tries to mumble bad policy past evangelical disapproval

Two thirds of Americans have heard nothing about the congressional probe on Muslims (but most support it)

A Public Religion Research Institute poll found that “two-thirds (65%) report having heard nothing at all about” upcoming congressional hearings on “alleged extremism in the American Muslim community.”

Yet, when questioned, a “majority (56%) of Americans say that” the hearings House Homeland Security Committee Chairm Rep. Peter King (R-NY) are a good idea.

Religion News Service explored the islamophoia obvious in the findings:

Peter Gottschalk, co-author of “Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy,” said the findings reflect the impact of recent waves of anti-Muslim rhetoric surrounding burning the Quran and opposing the construction of mosques.

“The Muslim community has been fairly successful at demonstrating themselves as neighbors, but the question becomes are they good neighbors?” said Gottschalk, chairman of the religion department at Wesleyan University.

There is a significant relationship between that islamophobia and preference for Fox News as an information source, the Public Religion Research Institute poll found:

More than three-quarters (76%) of those who most trust Fox News say [the hearings are a] good idea compared to only 45% of those who most trust CNN and 28% of those who most trust Public television.

The survey findings also show a significant correlation between trust in Fox News and negative attitudes about Muslims. Americans who most trust Fox News are more likely to believe that Muslims want to establish Shari’a law, have not done enough to oppose extremism, and believe investigating Muslim extremism is a good idea. There are even differences among Republicans and white evangelicals who trust Fox news most and those who trust other media.

  • Republicans who say Fox News is their most trusted news source are more likely than Republicans who trust a different news source to say they are well-informed about Islam (53% to 34%). They are also more likely than Republicans who most trust other news sources to say the hearings are a good thing (82% to 60%).
  • White evangelicals who most trust Fox News are much more likely than those who trust a different news source to say they feel informed about Islam than those who trust other sources of news (70% to 37%). This same group of evangelicals is also more likely than their counterparts who most trust other news sources to say the hearings are a good thing (84% to 60%).

Fox News’ cultivation of the reflexive human fear of “the other” can have profoundly destructive consequences, as Nicole Neroulias obliquely notes in her Beliefnet blog:

As Islamophobia expert Peter Gottschalk explained, in a quote that didn’t make it into my story: “Most Americans were also in favor of the Patriot Act, because they didn’t think they were the ones who would be investigated – but, compare that to the outrage over the invasiveness of TSA screenings, which everyone experiences.”

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Poll | | 1 Comment