Almost half of Americans think religion and politics should mix, according to a new survey.
Pew Research Center
released the results of a poll it took earlier this month that measured Americans' views on religion vs. politics. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said churches and other places of worship should express their views on social and political issues. That figure is up from 43 percent four years ago.
Forty-one percent of those polled, up from 37 percent, said there has been "too little" expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders, while 32 percent think churches should endorse candidates for political office.
Almost three quarters (72 percent) of the adults surveyed feel that religion is losing influence in American life, a figure that has increased 20 percentage points since 2002. And 56 percent of people who share this belief think it is a bad thing.
As for political parties, 47 percent think Republicans are friendly toward religion, compared to just 29 percent for the Democratic party. Even more telling is the percentage of people who feel the Obama administration is unfriendly to religion: 29 percent, compared with 23 percent in 2012 and 17 percent in 2009.
Regarding the issues themselves, 47 percent of those polled think businesses should have the right to refuse services related to same-sex weddings — caterers, florists, etc. — based on religious reasons.
Forty-nine percent of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriages, while 41 percent are against the practice. In February, a Pew poll concluded that 54 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage.
"It is too early to know if this modest decline is an anomaly or the beginning of a reversal or leveling off in attitudes toward gay marriage after years of steadily increasing public acceptance," Pew writes of Americans' same-sex marriage support.
Exactly half of Americans think homosexuality is a sin, up five points from a year ago.
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