By popmisa (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kotle/4790547937/) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By popmisa (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kotle/4790547937/) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Many changes have occurred in American social and political attitudes, according to the latest Pew Research study.

There have been many changes in idealism and affiliation in the last few years according to the Pew Research Center.  The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as liberal has increased greatly over the past few years. According to Americans who consider themselves religious over 20% consider themselves to be of a liberal political slant, this is up over 3% in 7 years when the studies were conducted first in 2007 and then in 2014.

How Do Christians Divide in Terms of Politics?

In terms of Christians who are considered to be more liberal, they are generally Protestant, and identify with groups that are less traditional. Christians who are conservative both socially and fiscally tend to vote for the GOP. There has been a large divide in these two groups as the GOP has grown more and more conservative and the Democratic Party has grown more liberal in the past 7 years.

How Has This Changed the Ideology of Christians and Society?

The first Pew Research Poll of Religious Views was conducted in 2007. When this was conducted, there were many trends that were evident with party lines at the time. When the 2014 study was conducted, over 37% of Christians vote Republican while over 44% of Christians vote with the Democratic Party. The other 18% call themselves Independent and vote along the lines of the candidate that aligns with their beliefs.

In terms of Evangelical Groups and Mormons, they lean towards conservatism and vote Republican. Most Catholics and Protestants are divided almost equally while 44% supports the GOP and 40% vote Democrat.

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Changes in Views of Homosexuality and Same Sex Marriage

While over 62% of Americans believe that homosexuality should be accepted, another 31% of society believed that is should be discouraged in practice. There has been a huge change in tolerance however among Christian groups, who have seen a 12 point increase since 2007 in the number who believe that homosexuality should be tolerated.

Aside from Christians other major religions: Jews (81%), Buddhists (88%) Hindus (71%) and Agnostics (83%) believe that homosexuality should be tolerated in society. According to those who hold this view, it is because they know someone who is gay, or are friends with someone who is gay.

What About Same Sex Marriage?

In 2014 over 53% of Christians supported the idea that same sex couples should be allowed to marry, this question was not asked by the Pew Institute in 2007. Other studies however that were conducted around the same time, found that the belief in same sex marriage support has increased drastically in recent years. According to groups of other religions 9/10 support same sex marriage, this is Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists.

When it comes to Christians for those of the Catholic faith over 57% believe in same sex marriage, while 57% of Protestants support it. In terms of the conservative arm of Christians made up of Evangelicals, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses the rates are between 14% and 27% who approve.

One very interesting correlation that exists between the support of same sex marriage and opposing it, involves whether or not that person know someone who is gay. In Americans who know someone who is gay over 57% say that they support same sex marriage, while the rate falls to 31% if they do not know someone personally who is gay.

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What About Christian Views on Abortion?

Views on abortion have stayed relatively stable in the last few years. The views are very different based on the religious tradition of the person. Most Protestants, 60% support legal abortion, as do 48% of Catholics. However, those of the more conservative branch of the Christian spectrum: Jehovah’s Witnesses 18%, Evangelicals 33% and Mormons 27% show a much lower number in terms of supporting legal abortion. Some of these smaller groups would support abortion in cases of rape or incest but not for general use.

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