TEXAS FAITH: Why do our faiths shape some political views, but not others?

Dr. Mike Ghouse   June 9, 2012   Comments Off on TEXAS FAITH: Why do our faiths shape some political views, but not others?

Published on 10/12/10 at Dallas Morning news
 Why would there be such a divide between where one’s faith informs their views? Read on to see what our panel has to say and to share your comments.

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas:

A causal relationship exists between what one hears from the pulpit and his/her disposition towards the issues reflected in the survey. Causal relationships exist when one variable causes a change in another variable.

In the segment of survey where religion matters most, conservative positions on same sex marriage and abortion are 60% and 45% respectively, whereas their numbers go south on issues like death penalty, government assistance to poor, immigration and environment.

The survey seems to confirm one’s proclivities towards declarative statements jumping out of the pulpits towards same sex marriage and abortion, whereas the numbers fall when there are no specific positions taken on issues like immigration or environment in the scriptures. If other faith traditions were included in the survey, the attitudes would have been similar.

An element of hypocrisy is embedded in what is conveyed from the pulpit. An excessive emphasis is placed on homosexuality which the scriptures do not “appear” to favor, but that is not the only item that is disfavored. An equally strong punishment is prescribed for adultery and incest which are down played by the clergy as though they don’t exist.

There are severe gaps in the immigration variable, even though the clergy is speaking favorably. Since only half of those who hear the clergy mention it, there is a loss in the communication of the message or its intensity.

The liberal opposition to death penalty sticks out with 32 points in contrast with 13 points with the conservatives. Here again, liberals value life above the conservatives whose opinions are influenced by an eye for an eye, over and above the forgiveness component of the equation.

There is something amazing that jumps out of this survey. That is the treatment of life and non-life issues.

There is a positive correlation between procreation of life and opposition to homosexuality, abortion and death penalty, whereas the response on non-life topics like environment, government assistance or immigration is negative.

To build cohesive societies we need to be truthful and resist the temptations to make devils out of other people, it is in our interests to take out the imaginary conflicts and deal with the real conflicts of space, sustenance and nurturance.

Please visit Dallas Morning News to read all the responses:  http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/10/texas-faith-why-do-our-faiths.html

MikeGhouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily.

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