Religon and Politics

Topics: Religion, President of the United States, Philosophy of religion Pages: 10 (1922 words) Published: September 19, 2013
Running head: RELIGION AND POLITICS

Religion and Politics: A survey Investigation

Abstract
A study was conducted on the relationship between religion and politics. 16 students (8 male, 8 female) were surveyed on the campus of Morgan State University. The purpose of the study was to learn about the influence of religion in the respondents’ childhood. In addition, the study was concerned with whether the respondents saw religious affiliation as an important factor in their decision to vote for a presidential or vice presidential candidate. The results of the survey indicate that there is indeed a relationship between religion and voting behavior.

Religion and Politics: A Survey Investigation
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of religion on voting behaviors. Previous research on this topic has suggested that there is a link between religion and conservative political beliefs. Billet (1995) found that church attendance is associated with conservative voting behaviors. Niemi & Stanley (2006) found that regular church-goers are more likely to vote for Republican candidates. According to Sherkat (2007), conservative religious values impact voting behaviors because people with such values feel like they are isolated from the values of mainstream society. A study by Kline (2007) indicated that conservative politicians often use religion as a way to attract voters. However, some studies have failed to find a link between religion and politics among voters. For example, Flere (2001) conducted an extensive survey study among voters in Europe and found that most respondents denied a strong connection between their religious views and their political views. In order to clarify the issue, a survey was conducted with a sample of students at Morgan State University. The survey questions were concerned with the influence of religion in the respondents’ lives. In addition, the respondents were asked about the importance of religion in their decision to vote for a presidential candidate as well as a vice presidential candidate in the upcoming election. Method

The respondents were 8 male students and 8 female students at Morgan State University. The students were approached at various places on campus and asked if they would like to participate in a survey regarding the relationship between religion and politics. The students included freshmen (25%), sophomores (31.25%), juniors (25%) and seniors (18.75%). The respondents varied by age. They included students who were 18 years of age (18.75%), 19 years of age (18.75%), 20 years of age (12.5%), 21 years of age (31.25%), and 22 years of age (18.75%). In regard to race, the students included Caucasians (31.25%), African Americans (25%), Hispanics (25%) and Asian Americans (18.75%). The survey included questions about the respondents’ demographics (age, gender, grade level, and race). In addition, the survey asked whether the respondents planned to vote in the presidential election, how important religious influences were in their childhood, and whether they considered the religion of the presidential candidates and the vice presidential candidates important in their voting decisions. Each survey took approximately five minutes to be completed. Results

All but one of the students said that they planned to vote in the presidential election. There was a variety of responses to the question about the importance of religious influences in childhood. 18.75% of the respondents said religion was unimportant in their childhoods, 18.75% said it was of little importance, 25% said it was moderately important, 18.75% said it was important, and 18.75% said it was very important. Among the students who said religion was unimportant in childhood, all three (100%) said that the religion of the presidential and vice presidential candidates was unimportant to them. Of the 3 students who said...

References: Billet, J. B. (1995). Church involvement, ethnocentrism, and voting for a radical right-wing party: diverging behavioral outcomes of equal attitudinal dispositions. Sociology of Religion, 56(3), 303-326.
Flere, S. (2001). The impact of religiosity upon political stands: survey findings from seven Central European countries. East European Quarterly, 35(2), 183-195.
Kline, S. (2007, Fall). The morality and politics of consumer religion: how consumer religion fuels the culture wars in the United States. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 17. Retrieved from http://www.usask.ca/relst/jrpc/art17-consumerreligion.html
Niemi, R. G., & Stanley, H. W. (2006). Partisanship, party coalitions, and group support, 1952-2004. Presidential Studies Quarterly, 36(2), 172-188.
Sherkat, D. E. (2007). Religion and survey non-response bias: toward explaining the moral voter gap between surveys and voting. Sociology of Religion, 68(1), 83-95.
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