Political Parties, God, and the Data
During the Capital Riot on January 6, Jenna Ryan’s video shows a framed, and gilded copy of the Ten Commandments sitting outside the Capital doors as they are being rammed down. As she so eloquently states “Those are our fucking commandments. That’s what we live by.”
The statement suggests that others do not. This didn’t seem accurate. When were Democrats, or people not performing violent insurrections, seemingly discarding an entire, foundational, belief system?
When did Republicans become known as the God Party? When did Democrats become known as godless heathens? But more importantly, what does the data really show?
Belief In God
- 73% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats believe in God.
- 61% of Republicans and 47% of Democrats allow religion to influence political affiliation.
The data does not back up the idea that Democrats are not religious, or that Republicans have cornered the “God Market.” A 2014 study, maintains the idea that while more Republicans than Democrats are staunchly confident in their religious convictions, Democrats in no way show an immoral, godless existence.
However, the same study reveals that 61% of Republicans use religion to inform their political party, as opposed to 47% of Democrats.
From the data alone, it’s pretty clear that Democrats are not without God in their lives. (Therefore, Jenna, your commandments are our commandments.) But why, then, are Republicans the only ones screaming about God to justify their behavior? And why are Democrats painted as shirking the word of God?
- 69% of atheists identify as Democrats, however only 13% of the Democratic Party identifies as not believing in God.
- 15% of atheists identify as Republicans, but only 5% claim they do not believe in God.
Despite the fact that the majority of Democrats believe in God, however, it is also true, according to poll numbers, that the largest majority of atheists also find their home within the Democratic Party. It should be noted, however, that only 13% of the Democratic Party claim to not believe in God.
A 2019 Christian article, calls Democrats the “party of the godless” citing the adoption of “religiously unaffiliated” as the largest religious group within the makeup of the Democratic Party.
However, in reading the “Resolution Regarding the Religiously Unaffiliated Demographic”, it’s clear that the Democratic Party was aiming toward being more inclusive with their values, and seek to separate themselves from those that would challenge those beliefs. If you’re wondering who those people are, the DNC was eager to tell you:
WHEREAS, those most loudly claiming that morals, values, and patriotism must be defined by their particular religious views have used those religious views, with misplaced claims of “religious liberty,” to justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities
Clearly, the DNC was not adopting a godless stance, but instead welcoming believers and non-believers, as well as distancing themselves from language, actions, or beliefs that now leans to threatening the civil liberties of all citizens.
- 64% of Republicans view abortion as morally wrong.
- 66% of Democrats view abortion as morally acceptable.
- 47% of American adults view abortion as a major political issue.
- 79% of pro-life and 50% of pro-choice adults have a confident belief in God.
- 73% of pro-life adults cite religion as an influence in that decision.
- 53% of adults feel abortion should be legal.
Abortion is a hotly debated, and passionately-felt topic but the reason for that is largely due to God. Few argue abortion is not legal without bringing God, or morality, into the conversation.
A 2020 Gallup poll asks the question of abortion as a moral issue, divided by groups of varying religious adherence. 64% of Republicans (less than then 72% of conservatives) view abortion as morally wrong. Alternatively, 66% of Democrats view abortion as morally acceptable.
As of 2019, Pew Research delivers predictable numbers when asked about abortion among the political parties.
Furthermore, a 2008 study found that pro-life or pro-choice viewpoints often led to switching parties. Once more, a Gallup poll reveals that a candidate's stance on abortion is either the most important issue or one of the more important issues to consider.
Predictably, the largest majority (79%) of pro-life people reflect an undeniable belief in God. Surprisingly, however, half of the people who believe abortion should be legal feel the exact same way.
Going a step further, religion is noted as being a huge deciding factor regarding one’s position toward abortion. 73% cite their religion as influencing their pro-life stance.
It should be noted, however, that the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in most, if not all, cases.
God In Politics
- 63% of adults want to keep religion out of political matters.
- 76% feel churches or places of worship should not come out in favor of one candidate.
- However, 49% of adults feel the Bible should have some influence in US laws.
Understandably, polling suggests 63% of adults simply want religion to stay out of politics. A larger majority of 76% of polled adults said that churches or houses of worship should not support one candidate over another! However, the question of the influence of the church in politics is pretty evenly split.
In contrast, however, there are a large number of people in favor of the idea of the bible playing a part in influencing American laws. A slight majority of adults, (50% to 49%) feel the bible should not be involved, but those numbers change, and in some cases drastically change, when religion comes into play.
From the data alone, it’s clear that Democrats are not godless heathens when compared to their Republican brethren. Both Democrats and Republicans hold God as a notable factor in daily life, and legislative matters.
The Party School of Political Parties?
However, outside of the question of God, moral and ethical standards exist. When addressing simple moral issues, Democrats sort of kick ass according to polling.
- 48% of Democrats and only 38% of Republicans are described as governing in an honest and ethical way.
- 55% of Democrats and only 39% of Republicans are said to care about the middle class.
- 59% of Democrats and 38% of Republicans are viewed as respectful and tolerant of different types of people.
Am I the only one that is puzzled by the fact that the Godly party is not viewed as tolerant, beneficial, or honest?
The fact is that the Ten Commandments that were laid outside the Capitol doors were the same Ten Commandments I was taught in Catholic school. The doors to the Capital are my Capital doors as well. The belief that my country is being stolen from me is a fear I also carry.
Let us start by realizing we agree on far more than we acknowledge. Because, let’s face it, the way we’ve been doing it is no longer working. And, truthfully, God would never approve of anyone weaponizing His name, His Word, or His intentions.