(Article first published as What Matters Most in Election 2012 for Voters Belonging to Faith Communities on Technorati)
In American politics, it’s hard if not impossible to separate politics from religion. That’s because a person’s religious convictions help to shape his worldview, and this in turn impacts the issues he or she cares about the most. That’s one of the messages I get from the results of a nationwide survey among likely voters belonging to five religious segments. The survey was conducted by the Barna Group, and the results were released last Wednesday.
Among all likely voters from the various religious groups, the main issues they say will influence which presidential candidate they vote for are health care (74% of likely voters), tax policy (62%), employment policies and strategies (54%), and plans to address the nation’s dependence upon foreign oil (52%), according to survey results.
Contrary to what many may think, based on how much time was devoted to the following areas of interest during the Republican debates, the issues least likely to impact the vote of likely voters among the religious groups polled are the presidential candidate’s position on gay marriage (31%), environmental policies (30%), and abortion (29%), according to an analysis of the responses.
However, the various belief-based communities are far from being a monolithic group, in terms of what they care about the most.
For instance, among all likely voters from the groups polled, abortion ranked last on the list of what they care about the most. But among evangelicals, this was the third most influential issue, following taxes and health care. And while gay marriage was tenth among all likely voters, it was the fifth most influential issue for likely voters among the evangelical community, according to the study.
Also, the Barna Group’s recent study confirmed the findings of past research, which is that those who are more actively engaged in their faith are often more active in political and social matters as well. I believe that’s the way it should be, at least within Christendom. The Bible is not simply a book. It is the Word of God. It is God speaking to us. One of its objectives is to teach us how to become faithful followers of Christ.
Specific to the subject at hand, when Christians faithfully study the Bible and strive to live by its teachings, it will give us a biblical perspective on life and, hence, on social issues, and these in turn should influence what we do in the voting booth during election 2012.
Copyright ©2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.