In America, Religious Conservatives Tend to Be More Tolerant Than Their Secular Counterparts

Sept. 27 2018

Having conducted a number of surveys of American conservatives, and especially those who say they voted for Donald Trump in the last election, Emily Ekins concluded that there are significant differences between the believers and the non-believers among them:

Churchgoing Trump voters have more favorable feelings toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Muslims, and immigrants compared with nonreligious Trump voters. This holds up even while accounting for demographic factors like education and race. Churchgoing Trump voters care far more than nonreligious ones about racial equality (67 percent versus 49 percent) and reducing poverty (42 percent versus 23 percent).

These differences are reflected in their actions, too. President Trump’s most religiously observant voters are three times as likely as secular Trump voters to volunteer—and not just with their own church. . . . Religious participation also appears to pull the president’s supporters away from the administration’s immigration policy. The more frequently Trump voters attend church, the more they support offering citizenship to illegal immigrants and making the immigration process easier, and the more opposed they become to the border wall. In fact, many conservative Christian churches disapprove of the Trump administration’s handling of immigration. . . .

Religious institutions also provide communities and identities that aren’t based upon immutable traits such as race or country of birth. Research suggests that identities that transcend race or nationality may lead people to feel more favorably toward racial and religious minorities. [Moreover], secular conservatives lack church membership to provide [a] sense of belonging and may succumb to the temptation to find it on the basis of their race, thereby bolstering white nationalism or the alt-right movement. We found that secular Trump voters are three times as likely as churchgoing Trump voters to say that their white racial identity is “extremely” important to them. . . .

Many progressives hope that encouraging conservatives to disengage from religion will make them more tolerant. But if the data serve as any guide, doing so may in fact make it even harder for left and right to meet in a more compassionate middle.

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Read more at New York Times

More about: American politics, American Religion, Conservatism, Donald Trump, Immigration, Religion & Holidays


The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media