In terms of religious affiliation, conservative activists are almost exclusively Christian, whereas progressive activists are more diverse. Among conservative activists, 54% identify as evangelical Protestant, 35% as Roman Catholic, and 9% with Mainline Protestantism. Among progressive activists, 44% identify as Mainline Protestants; 17% as Roman Catholics; 10% as evangelical Protestants; 12% as interfaith, mixed faith, or Unitarian; 6% Jewish; and 8% who have no formal religious affiliation or identify as formerly affiliated.Nothing new there, of course. We expect the majority of conservative activists to be Evangelical.
In terms of beliefs, conservative and progressive religious activists have strikingly different beliefs about scripture. Nearly half of conservatives (48%) view scripture as the literal word of God, a view held by only 3% of progressives.
Conservative and progressive religious activists have strikingly different issue priorities. A majority of conservative religious activists gave priority to abortion and same-sex marriage, while progressive religious activists gave priority to a number if issues, including economic justice, the environment, and peace. Conservative religious activists overwhelmingly identify abortion (83%) and same-sex marriage (65%) as most important priorities among a set of eight issue areas. Fewer than 10% of progressive religious activists call those “most important” issues. Highest priorities for progressive activists are poverty (74%), health care (67%), environment (56%), jobs/economy (48%), and the Iraq war (45%)So, the conservatives are disproportionately obsessed with issues related to sex, and whether a handful of committed gay people have any civil rights. No particular concern for war, the environment, the impoverished etc.
Gay and Lesbian Issues. On the issue of same-sex marriage, conservatives overwhelmingly oppose (82%) both same-sex marriage and civil unions, while nearly 6-in-10 (59%) progressives support same-sex marriage, and another third support civil unions.And anyone who wonders why gay people feel so disenfranchised and opposed to religion, and fearful of state theocracy, there it is. (By the way, head on over to Gay Married Californian for a discussion of the lies being told in Maine--it's prop8 redux.)
Health Care. Only 6% of conservative religious activists agree that the U.S. should have comprehensive national health insurance even if it resulted in fewer choices for patients, compared to nearly 8-in-10 (78%) progressive activists who agree.There's a fascinating post over at StreetProphets on how the right wing has co-opted the Roman Catholics against health care because of the Bishops' obsession with abortion and gay rights. Indeed, in Maine, rather than help the poor and suffering, the RC diocese is closing parishes and raising money to attack gay marriage. Some misplaced priorities, wouldn't you say?
But this is the one I just can't get my head around:
Torture. A significant majority of conservative religious activists say torture can often (25%) or sometimes (36%) be justified. Only 5% of progressive religious activists take either of those positions, with 79% saying torture can never be justified.How anyone can claim the name of Christian and support the most ghastly treatment of another human being is beyond me. And this, to me, summarizes the evil of the religious right activists. They are completely corrupted by hatred.
Update More commentary here.