Friday, June 9Welcome

buy a new church?Your Politics May Determine Which Piu Fits

(RNS) — When André Audet first arrived at Notre Dame Cathedral, he received a pamphlet about life in South Bend, Indiana.

The pamphlet contained a section on churches and advice on which Catholic parishes conservatives should attend and which parishes liberals should attend.

Audette ignored the pamphlet’s advice and chose a completely different parish, but the link between church shopping and politics stuck with him.

“I felt such a fascination,” said Audette, now an assistant professor of political science at Monmouth College in central Illinois.

Audet is co-author of a new study on the role of politics in finding churches, published in Religion and Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association. Based on a survey of 2,000 Americans, the study found that about half of those surveyed said they had shopped for a new church. The survey found that about 1 in 10 Americans (11.1%) said they left church for political reasons, and another 7% said they would leave church for political reasons. I thought about it seriously,” he replied.

Evangelical Christians (81%) were most likely to purchase a new church.

Mainline Protestants (30%) and atheists (32%) were most likely to say they had left the church or considered leaving politics. Atheists (16%) would buy a new church Least likely, Black Protestants (13%) were least likely to leave church for politics.

When it comes to politics, the major Protestant churches are in a tough spot because they are more politically diverse than the evangelical or black Protestant churches. In the 2020 election, 91% of his Protestant black voters backed Democratic candidate Joe Biden, while 84% of his evangelical white voters backed Republican candidate Donald Trump, according to a Pew Research analysis. voted for Trump.

Mainline Protestants, whom Pugh describes as “white, non-evangelical” Christians, were split, with 43% voting for Biden and 57% for Trump.

Photo by Christina Paparo/Unsplash/Creative Commons

Photo by Christina Paparo/Unsplash/Creative Commons

When evangelicals buy a new church, Audet said, they go looking for another conservative evangelical church, like the one they left, where most people vote Republican.

“Democrats are mostly just leaving the more liberal sect,” he said. “Now is a difficult time to be a mainline Protestant.”

The Religion and Politics study is based on survey data collected in 2017. Audette speculates that political polarization has worsened since then, especially with his COVID-19 pandemic.

Audette, a Catholic, said he saw polarization affecting both Catholic parishes and Protestant churches, turning congregations into the same kind of echo chambers found in other parts of American culture. Told.

André Audette. Photo by OMG Photo

André Audette. Photo by OMG Photo

“We are starting to see churches really formulating their identities based on these political ideals,” he said. Because when you go to , you’re sitting next to Republicans and Democrats and the cross-cutting discussions are starting to trickle in,” he said. “It’s not happening anymore.”

Scholars such as Ruth Brownstein of the University of Connecticut have argued that the rise of partisan politics, particularly by religious rights, has contributed to the decline of organized religion and the rise of Americans who do not claim a religious identity. About 3 in 10 Americans are now considered “nothing,” according to Pew Research. In his book “Secular Explosion,” which focuses on the country’s secular population growth, the authors argue that conservative politics have made some Americans “allergic to religion.” .

A recent survey by Lifeway Research, an evangelical research group, found that half of Protestant churchgoers said they would prefer to attend a church where people share my political beliefs. It turns out that we agree. In that same survey, 55% of Protestant church members said people in their congregation shared political beliefs, while only 55% said people in their churches held different beliefs. Only 23%.

Pew Research found in 2016 that nearly half (49%) of Americans have sought a new congregation at some point in their lives. The most common reasons were moving (34%), marriage or divorce (11%), and disagreement with clergy (11%). The study found that quality of preaching (83%), warm welcome (79%), style of worship (74%) and location (70%) were the most influential factors when choosing a new chapel. .

Audette, who co-authored the study with one of her Monmouth College students, Shay R. Hafner, has said in the past that politics is good for some churches, increasing attendance. It may be, but it could be bad for religion. In a 2016 article, building on his previous research, he and co-author Christopher Weaver compared the mixture of religion and politics to America’s Fast His Hood.

“While the overall number of fast food consumers continues to decline, the most successful chains are finding ways to capture more of the remaining consumers by doubling down on the very practices that are shrinking the market. “Similarly, the political activism of the church may do little to change the public image of religion in the United States, but it still makes it more attractive to churchgoers. increase.”

The attraction of politics to churchgoers puts pastors in a difficult position, he said, and he hopes to study this in the future. It can keep outsiders away.

“Are you going to reach out to people who are interested in conservative religion and politics and try to appeal to them?” he said. “Or do you open your mind and try to tackle topics that may be offensive to people? That’s a really tough decision.”

(Ahead of the Trend is a collaboration between the Religious News Service and the Association of Religion Data Archives, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation. See more Ahead of the Trend articles here .)

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *