Commentary: Evangelical vs. Mainline Politics

Here are some results from some recent research on the political views/actions of Mainline and Evangelical pastors.  A couple interesting things stand out to me:

– The collective dip of support of a candidate and speaking up on a political issue in the 2001

– The increase in  Mainline of belief of real devil and the virgin birth

– The stagnation of increase female pastors in Evangelicalism

– The sharp increase of female pastors for Protestants in the 90’s, but slowing in the 2000’s

– The second G.W. Bush campaign saw an interesting increase in political materials being present at church

– That comparativly Mainline pastors seem to be more liberal (economically and politically) than their congregations while Evangelical pastors seem to be more conservative than their congregations

– As a whole Evangelical pastors  are closer in balance between being more conservative or liberal than their congregations than Mainline pastors who seem overwhelmingly liberal

Take a look through at let me know what you see. . .

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2 thoughts on “Commentary: Evangelical vs. Mainline Politics

  1. Important clarification: based on the graphic you’ve got there, your final statements regarding the comparison between the pastor and their congregation need to be more nuanced. You said:

    “- That comparativly Mainline pastors seem to be more liberal (economically and politically) than their congregations while Evangelical pastors seem to be more conservative than their congregations

    – As a whole Evangelical pastors are closer in balance between being more conservative or liberal than their congregations than Mainline pastors who seem overwhelmingly liberal”

    But that question on the graphic is “On social/economic issues I am…” meaning that we can only conclude that the pastors perceive themselves and their congregation that way, we don’t know that they actually are. I’m pretty routinely surprised at the way my people approach things.

    I’m surprised at the increase in “born of a virgin” but the question regarding the devil seems very open to interpretation unless the question is more nuanced than the graphic.

    • Richard, thanks for the post and the nuance. I intended to include the perception in seem – at least when I was writing my thoughts acknowledged the issue of perception -, but I see know I was not clear enough. However, there is also the fuzziness of what the pastors do know, it would have been more accurate if the survey looked at both the congregation members and pastors. The question is based on perception, which brings up the question of whether pastors really do know the politically of social leaning of their congregation both as a whole and as individuals.

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