A recent Gallup poll highlights what many political insiders know intuitively: that the cultural divide between religious and non-religious Americans plays out at the ballot box.
Two-thirds (66%) of Americans describe themselves as somewhat or very religious, while one-third (33%) say they are "non-religious." According to Gallup, each of the presidential candidates, Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama, benefits from a core group of supporters defined by their religious perspectives. President Obama commands strong support (54% v. 38% for Romney) among white Americans who describe themselves as non-religious, while Mitt Romney followers are decidedly religious (62% of moderately or strongly religious voters support Romney while just 29% are fans of President Obama).
Religious Americans understand the stakes in this election because we have felt the consequences of the most-anti-religion President of our time. President Obama has gutted the work begun by President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (renamed under President Obama as The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships). His administration argued in the Supreme Court against the right of religious organizations to set religious hiring criteria for ministerial employees-and thankfully got slapped down 9-0 by the Supreme Court. His administration also has refused to allow continuation grants for successful Catholic programs to aid the victims of human trafficking--because those programs will not promote abortion. And his HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, claims to be "respecting religious beliefs" even while compelling faith-based employers, with few exceptions, to provide coverage for contraception, sterilizations, and emergency contraception. The list of attacks against religious freedom by this administration is long.
How to Save Your Family: Live and Share Your Beliefs
Amidst this cultural divide comes the news that membership among Muslims (66.7%) and Mormons (45.5%) grew dramatically in the past ten years and evangelical Christianity grew moderately, with 12.3% growth in metropolitan areas. These religions, according to one expert, appeal to seekers because, "[t]here's something about strictness, a call to commitment, to people ready-made for conversions." The coherence of Christianity, lived with conviction, is compelling.
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