Covering the Progressive Faith Community

18 July

Robby Jones: 1 in 5 Americans a Religious Progressive

Robby Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute (@publicresearch) has a piece in the Washington Post about a scale PRRI and the Brookings Institution (@brookingsinst) developed that shows that 19 percent of the country could be considered religious progressives. They are relatively young, particularly when compared with religious conservatives, and they come from a diversity of faith backgrounds.

The article is worth a read, as is the report on which it draws.

Interesting tidbits from the press release for the report:

On what it means to be religious:

Religious progressives and conservatives hold different beliefs about what it means to be a religious person. Nearly 8-in-10 (79 percent) religious progressives say that being a religious person is mostly about doing the right thing, compared to 16 percent who say it is about holding the right beliefs. A majority of religious conservatives (54 percent), on the other hand, say being a religious person is primarily about having the right beliefs, while 38 percent say it is mostly about doing the right thing.

On the role of government with regard to the economy:

On questions related to economic policy and the role of government, religious progressives generally hold similar views to nonreligious Americans and religious moderates, while religious conservatives stand apart. For example, 37 percent of religious conservatives agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, compared to 69 percent of religious moderates, 72 percent of the nonreligious, and nearly 9-in-10 (88 percent) religious progressives.

On religion and partisan affiliation:

Religious progressives and conservatives are also distributed in very different ways within the two major political parties. Among Democrats, 28 percent are religious progressives, 42 percent are religious moderates, and 13 percent are religious conservatives; additionally, 17 percent are nonreligious. Among Republicans, a majority (56 percent) are religious conservatives, 33 percent are religious moderates, 5 percent are religious progressives, and 6 percent are nonreligious.

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