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Hypothesis 2: Individuals who view the Democrats as friendly toward religion will be more likely to have voted for Kerry over Bush than will individuals who view the Democrats as neutral or unfriendly toward religion. For example, it may be that evangelical Protestants who make up the core of the culture warriors on the religious right tend both to view the Democrats as unfriendly toward religion and unfavorably as a whole.

In other words, antipathy toward the Party generally could lead its detractors to judge it also hostile to religion rather than the other way around. Table 7 attempts to address these potential objections by excluding both seculars and white evangelical Protestants from the analysis. A similar pattern emerges upon examining the relationship between perceptions of Democratic friendliness toward religion and casting a vote for John Kerry over George Bush. Table 9, which again excludes white evangelicals and seculars from the analysis, demonstrates that this relationship holds even among centrists.

God is a Liberal Democrat – really?!

The preceding analyses, then, provide relatively strong support for both hypotheses proposed here. Those who view the Democrats as friendly toward religion are both much more favorably disposed toward the Party and much more likely to have voted for Kerry over Bush than are those who view the Party as unfriendly toward religion. These relationships hold true even when evangelical Protestants and seculars are excluded from the analyses.

Specifically, in addition to perceptions of Democratic friendliness toward religion, we simultaneously analyzed the impact on views of the Party of several religious factors religious affiliation, frequency of attendance at religious services and belief that the Bible should be interpreted literally , political factors party identification and political ideology and demographic factors sex, education, race, income, region, marital status and union membership.

Table 10 presents the results of this analysis, which provide strong support for our hypothesis. Indeed, the strength of the correlation is approximately three times that of frequency of religious attendance, and more than three times that of political ideology.


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A sense of the findings from this analysis is provided by Chart 1, which illustrates the relationship between a number of political and demographic factors and vote choice. On the one hand, scholars who observe and document an ongoing culture war and the polarization of the American electorate are correct to point out that highly religious Americans, and especially white evangelical Protestants, have largely abandoned the Democratic Party, which has contributed to their electoral misfortunes. Conceptualized in this way, overcoming their struggles with religion will require the Democrats to recapture the support of at least a fraction of those who now form the core of the GOP.

As scholars who doubt the existence of a culture war point out, there remains in the United States a very large corps of moderate citizens and voters, and these voters truly hold the balance of power in American elections. These voters, and even a large portion of seculars, have overwhelmingly positive views of religion and desire an important public and political role for religious symbols and values.

That is, instead of having to peel away at the conservative Christian base of the GOP, the Democrats may benefit simply from convincing centrists of their general friendliness toward religion.

Evangelical Pastor: Democrats Have Created An 'Imaginary God'

Attempting to convince the public of their friendliness to religion, however, may carry risks of its own for the Democrats. Our analysis indicates that among seculars, who have become one of the core constituencies of the Democratic Party, those who view the Democrats as friendly toward religion were actually less likely to have voted for Kerry than were those who view the Party as unfriendly toward religion.

But in a nation where the electorate is as closely divided as the American electorate has been in recent years, any one of a number of factors could, conceivably, serve to tip the balance in one direction or another. Washington, D. Quin Monson.

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Kellstedt, Corwin E. Smidt and John C. Religious Mobilization in the Presidential Election. Galston, William A.

Democrats still haven’t faced their God problem

The Reality of a Polarized America. Smidt, and John C. For more details and complete results of the model, contact the authors at gsmith pewforum. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research.

Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. Inevitably, Christians are going to disagree over the key issues and the best approach to tackling them. To align oneself uncritically to any particular party is therefore problematic. It is to say that an uncritical stance with a party or political ideology will inevitably end up conflicting with scripture some time or other. This means that Christians can join, support and vote for the Liberal Democrats if, indeed, one comes to such a considered position.

But to claim, like Steve Webb, the Lib Dems are somehow the very party of God himself is not simply to overstate the case but ignores the compromised position of all political parties.

It overemphasises the good the Liberals may do at the expense of the unscriptural things they almost certainly do and utterly misunderstands the nature of a holy God who could have no part with many of the things in which all political parties engage. If God could not always bear the choices of his chosen people, under a theocratic state enshrined by himself, what chance have secular British political parties of that? Skip to content. Like this: Like Loading