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

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.

Read more at New York Times

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

Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship