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  • The Impact of Religion on Politics

    December 20, 2023

    How Religion Affects Politics

    According to conventional wisdom, religion affects politics. However, scholars have developed a different view. They define religion as whatever dominant concern serves to organize a person’s values and create a doctrine that supports it.

    This definition suggests that it is not a universal phenomenon and that religions vary in their influence on politics. For example, Democrats may pull away from religion because they associate it with Republicans and conservative politics.

    Religion is a social genus

    The idea that religion is a social genus has become controversial among anthropologists. Some have criticized the notion that religion is a concept invented by humans, and others have argued that it has no objective meaning. They argue that thinking of religion as a mental state is a Protestant bias and that scholars should instead focus on social structures and discipline techniques rather than inner states.

    A political-religious cleavage can be dangerous, especially when it is used to legitimize unequal power relations. For example, when religious churches backed the mill owners during a strike in 1912, they weakened the movement and contributed to the failure of the strike. Politicians who employ religion must be aware of the risks, or they may lose voters. A strong warning sign is if voters refuse to vote for, contribute to, or campaign for politicians who use religion. This will quickly prompt them to change their position.

    Religion is a social group

    Religion can help alleviate poverty and promote social justice, but it can also reinforce inequality and fuel conflict. This is partly why Marx called religion “the opium of the masses.” By focusing on eternal life and spiritual comfort, religion can distract people from their exploitation and prevent them from recognizing that existing social relations are distorted.

    Political scientists such as Michele Margolis have used this conflict perspective to examine how religion affects politics. Her research finds that partisanship influences how religious people make decisions about their religiosity. Margolis has also found that people who vote for a Republican candidate are less likely to say they are religious.

    This is because they place party over principle. If voters snub politicians who use religion, the latter will quickly change their tactics. This is especially true if the politician’s base supports them. For example, in the 1960 election, Catholic religiosity was tied to John F. Kennedy. The findings in this study are based on an analysis of national surveys and a longitudinal panel dataset.

    Religion is a social identity

    Religion is a social identity, which means it can be influenced by social structures. This can lead to different outcomes in politics, for example, when the political party in power tries to appeal to religious voters. This may lead to a negative reaction in those who don’t identify as religious, and this can backfire.

    Prothero believes that this entanglement of religion and politics is a result of America’s history of religious freedom. The lack of an official state church allows for a more robust religious community, which can be used to influence the political process in times of change. This can be seen in movements like the abolition and civil rights movement.

    Some scholars have criticized the notion of religion as a social identity, arguing that it focuses on hidden mental states and does not take into account material realities. Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that the role of religion in society is complex and varied.

    Religion is a social practice

    Religion is a social practice that involves adopting a concern, constructing a theory of its actual reality, and practicing a doctrine about how to effect a good outcome. This is often accompanied by a sense of obligation to a group and a desire to be part of a transcendental structure. Some religious practices grow into a denomination and others develop into a sect. Sects are breakaway groups that claim to have returned to “the fundamentals” or to contest the veracity of a doctrine.

    Politics has a profound impact on religiosity. As political identities become more and more polarized, religion is losing its power to shape Americans’ worldviews. For example, many evangelicals were slow to support Donald Trump, as his business dealings and extramarital affairs contradicted their core beliefs. The only way to counter this trend is for voters to snub politicians who exploit religious faith. This would send a strong message that religious belief and practice are not something to be politicized.

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  • Religion in America: Shifts in Affiliation and Decline of Traditional Christianity

    December 16, 2023

    Religion Percentage in America

    Christianity may be losing ground in the United States, but it is not disappearing entirely. The country is divided into religious groups based on their preference and affiliation, with Catholics and Protestants leading the pack in most states.

    About 7% identify with a non-Christian religion, including Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Unitarian Universalists. These figures have remained stable over the past few years.


    The percentage of Catholics has remained relatively stable over the past decade. However, the share of Americans who are “nones” has grown significantly in every major geographic region.

    The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics, and those who describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. These groups are increasingly diverse by class, race, and age.

    America’s religious geography has been transformed over the last decade, due to changes in religious switching and Hispanic immigration. The number of Catholics has fallen in the South, but has risen in the Midwest and West. In the Northeast, there has been a slight increase in the number of Christians, including white evangelical Protestants and mainline Protestants. However, the number of Jews and Hindus has remained stable. There has also been a modest decline in the number of Mormons.


    A quarter of Americans say they follow Protestant religions, a steep decline from 40 years ago when two-thirds said they were Protestant. This trend is especially pronounced among young Americans ages 18-29. In 2021, a third of this age group was religiously unaffiliated, and it is similar for those ages 30-49.

    The percentage of Americans with no religious identity has grown in recent years, and this trend is most pronounced in states located at the northern corners of the country, plus Hawaii. These “nones” tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

    The remaining 4% of Americans identify with a non-Christian religion, such as Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or some other world faith tradition. These individuals are largely concentrated in Eastern and Western states, with their numbers ranging from a majority in Oregon, Vermont, and New Hampshire to less than a fifth in Mississippi.


    Religious affiliations in the United States are changing at a rapid pace. Americans are dropping out of organized religion at an alarming rate, and those who remain say that they don’t attend services often or at all. This trend could have serious political implications. Moreover, the majority of Democrats come from nonreligious households, and the Democratic Party needs to rethink its strategy in the face of these new dynamics.

    The religiosity of American adults varies greatly by state and region, reflecting a combination of historical factors. For example, the high percentage of Catholics in states like Utah and Idaho reflects historic patterns of immigration to those states. The same is true for the relatively high percentage of Protestants in the South. Nevertheless, the number of unaffiliated Americans is rising rapidly in some states.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and not part of a Trinity. They also teach that human institutions, including government and organized religion, are inherently corrupt and reject political activities such as voting, military service and oaths of any kind. They also believe that blood transfusions are unclean and refuse to take blood from another person.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses tend to be less educated than other Christian groups, with a solid majority of adult Witnesses having no more than a high school diploma. They also have a lower retention rate than other groups; 66 percent of adults who were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses no longer identify with the group. They also have a higher incidence of death compared to other groups.


    The proportion of Americans who are unaffiliated has risen over the past few years. This is mainly due to generational replacement, as young adults are replacing older Americans in the religious landscape. A third of adults under 30 have no religion, compared with one-in-ten among those 65 and over.

    The trend toward disaffiliation is influenced by many factors, including family structure and religious commitments. People raised in two-parent households tend to have more robust religious participation, while those in single-parent homes are less likely to report being religious.

    The old narrative about the unaffiliated focuses on atheists and agnostics, but that misses a number of important trends. There is also an increasing share of Americans who choose other forms of non-religious affiliation or switch between different religious traditions.

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  • Hello world!

    December 15, 2023

    Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!…

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