Pew Research Center published results on politics in the Church during this summer. And while you might think that rightists are the “guilty” party when it comes to preaching politics from the pulpit, the Pew findings show that Marxists apparently do so more often—including when it comes to endorsing candidates.
At first glance, the Aug. 8 Pew tweet announcing that, “New today: Americans hear politics from the pulpit, but more about issues than candidates,” doesn’t sound so bad.
— Pew Research Religion (@PewReligion) August 8, 2016
But when one looks at the data it actually is startling news.
For instance, while churchgoers might hear a lot about issues from the pulpit, the information they hear on those issues must make Satan laugh with delight.
When it comes to homosexuality and economic inequality, there are more even splits in the types of messages people say they get from their clergy. For instance, one-in-five adults who attended religious services in the months leading up to the survey say their clergy spoke out against homosexuality, but 12% say their clergy urged acceptance of gays and lesbians, and an additional 7% say they heard both types of messages.
So not only do only 20% (at best) of churchgoers hear their pastor denounce this sin from the pulpit, but over half as many churchgoers hear their pastors speak favorably of it.
The Pew data also reveal that contrary to popular hysteria, when pastors do tell their flocks to vote for candidates, they aren’t telling them to vote Republican; they’re telling them to vote Democrat.
Among black Protestants who have been in church recently, roughly three-in-ten (29%) have heard clergy speak out in support of a candidate – mostly Hillary Clinton – and an equal share have heard religious leaders speak out against a candidate (primarily Donald Trump). Smaller shares of Catholic, white evangelical Protestant and white mainline Protestant churchgoers – roughly one-in-ten or fewer – say their clergy have publicly supported or opposed particular candidates.
So the next time you hear someone claim that the IRS needs to crack down on Christians preaching about politics from the pulpit, you can first tell them that it should not. But after that, you can tell them if it does, the IRS should be targeting progressive churches. They’re the ones that are doing all the politicking.
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