Religion in America Putnam Campbell Religion Politics ctd

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Religion in America: Putnam & Campbell Religion & Politics, ctd. (Sociology 156)

Religion in America: Putnam & Campbell Religion & Politics, ctd. (Sociology 156)

Overt politicking relatively rare in church • This may be due to ease of

Overt politicking relatively rare in church • This may be due to ease of exit and unpopularity of overt politics in church, of which – – – 75% evangelicals 80% Catholics 85% mainline Protestants 76% Black Protestants 77% Jews disapprove. • Overt politics more likely in liberal congregations – Only a small fraction of the population • Self-reporting – What counts as politics? (421 -422) – Does poverty? The environment? Homosexuality? 2

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– 12. 1 3

 • Despite relative rarity of politics, the ideological consensus, preexisting organization, and tight

• Despite relative rarity of politics, the ideological consensus, preexisting organization, and tight social networks of a church means that they can mobilize rapidly and effectively • Example: Mormon church and Prop 8 • But despite the tight social networks, even informal political activity is relatively rare at church 4

Echo Chambers • Religion-based social networks are an important influence on members’ politics –

Echo Chambers • Religion-based social networks are an important influence on members’ politics – “Religiosity has a stronger connection to partisanship among people who have a high degree of religious socializing. ” – Reinforce and harden political beliefs • When political circumstances render particular beliefs salient (abortion, birth control, homosexuality, etc. ) the churchgoing individual is embedded in a relatively homogenous social network which will highlight their salience – The denser the network, the more powerful this effect – “The most heavily Republican portion of the churchgoing population is people who rely on religion when making political decisions and are embedded in a dense social network, not the people who hear the most politics in church. ” – Not necessarily conservative: Black Protestants exist in Democratic echo chamber (435 -441) 6

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– 12. 4 7

Civic Engagement – 13. 1 8

Civic Engagement – 13. 1 8

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– 13. 2 9

 • Comparing two people with identical community engagement, the one with the more

• Comparing two people with identical community engagement, the one with the more frequent church attendance is more likely to give to & volunteer for both religious and secular causes • Generosity shows some variation across traditions, but not much • The issue is how much religion, not what religion – – – Further, religious Americans are more likely to Belong to community organizations Engage in community problem solving Be active in civic and political life Agitate for local social and political reform • Across traditions, truer for Black Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholic than evangelicals (444 -456) 10

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» 13. 3 11

 • This pattern holds true across the political spectrum – Religious liberals never

• This pattern holds true across the political spectrum – Religious liberals never less generous than religious conservatives, volunteer more often • It is the level of religiosity that matters more than the political ideology • Further, religious Americans more likely to condemn all violations of conventional morality (458 -460) 12

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13. 4 13

 • Ethical positions are uncorrelated with theological beliefs • Salvation by faith or

• Ethical positions are uncorrelated with theological beliefs • Salvation by faith or action, existence of hell, etc. • It is level of enmeshment in a religious social network that produces these effects • Only aspect of community-connectedness correlated with theology is trust • Religious people more trusting than secular people, but fundamentalist beliefs are negatively correlated with trust – Belief in a more loving than judging God also correlated w/trust (463 -470) 14

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– 13. 6 15

Americans tend toward tolerance – 13. 4 16

Americans tend toward tolerance – 13. 4 16

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– 13. 9 17

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– 13. 10 18

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– 13. 11 19

– 13. 13, note polarization 20

– 13. 13, note polarization 20

 • Increasing tolerance appears to be driven by generational succession • Secular Americans

• Increasing tolerance appears to be driven by generational succession • Secular Americans more tolerant of all points of view • Secular Americans also more robust defenders of civil rights • Religious Americans more inclined to respect authority and tend to be more ready to shun dissent (479 -489) – Given what we know from Durkheim re: strongly coherent societies, this makes sense when combined with higher levels of civic activity among the religious 21

 • These generalizations hold when gender, education, income, race, region, homeownership, length of

• These generalizations hold when gender, education, income, race, region, homeownership, length of residence, marital and parental status, ideology and age are controlled for – While it is plausible that there is a causal relationship, remember: Correlation ≠ Causation! 22