The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has released the results of a new Survey on Religious Belief and Politics in America (pdf).
More than three-quarters of American adults (78%) believe there are absolute standards of right and wrong, with a majority (52%) saying they rely primarily on practical experience and common sense for guidance regarding right and wrong. Far fewer say they rely mainly on their religious beliefs (29%), and fewer still say they rely on philosophy and reason (9%) or scientific information (5%). Only among Jehovah’s Witnesses (73%), Mormons (58%) and members of evangelical churches (52%) do majorities say they rely primarily on their religion for guidance about right and wrong.
Some of the interesting findings:
- 39% of Mormons surveyed agreed to the statement that “Many religions can lead to eternal life” (Compare: Protestant 66%, Catholic 79%, JW 16%, Muslim 56%, Jewish 82%)
- 100% of Mormons Surveyed believe in God in some form (Compare: Protestant 98%, Catholic 97%, JW 98%, Muslim 92%, Jewish 83%, Atheist 21% ??)
- 90% of Mormons Surveyed say that are absolutely certain about their belief in God (Compare: Evangelical: 90%, Catholic 72%, JW 93%, Muslim 82%, Jewish 41%)
- 75% of Mormons Surveyed attend religious services as least once a week (Compare: Evangelical 58%, Catholic 42%, JW 82%, Muslim 40%, Jewish 16%)
- Among all adults surveyed 1.7% were Mormon, the same as the number of Jewish. 16.1% were unaffiliated.
- 95% of Mormons Surveyed believed in “Heaven”. 59% believed in “Hell.” (Compare: Protestant 84%/73%, Catholic 82%/60%, JW 46%/9%, Muslim 85%/80%, Jewish 38%/22%)
- 92% of Mormons Surveyed pray at least weekly (compare Protestant 86%, Catholic 79%, JW 95%, Muslim 82%, Jewish 44%)
- 67% of Mormons Surveyed agree that their values are threatened by Hollywood (Compare: Protestant 46%, Catholic 43%, JW 54%, Muslim 41%, Jewish 25%)
- 70% of Mormons Surveyed say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases (Compare: Protestant 49%, Catholic 45%, JW 77%, Muslim 48%, Jewish 14%)
- 68% of Mormons Surveyed said that homosexuality is a way of life that should be discouraged by society (Compare: Protestant 51%, Catholic 30%, JW 76%, Muslim 61%, Jewish 15%)
“The connection between religious intensity and political attitudes appears to be especially strong when it comes to issues such as abortion and homosexuality. About six-in-ten Americans who attend religious services at least once a week say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, while only about three-in-ten who attend less often share this view. This pattern holds across a variety of religious traditions. For instance, nearly three-in-four (73%) members of evangelical churches who attend church at least once a week say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, compared with only 45% of members of evangelical churches who attend church less frequently.”
Also of interest were the following stats on those identified as Conservative, Moderate and Liberal:
- 50% of Conservatives attend religious services at least weekly (Compare: Moderate 31%, Liberal 12%)
- 46% of Conservatives say religion is very important (Compare: Moderate 32%, Liberal 14%)
- 44% of Conservatives Pray Daily (Compare: Moderate 33%, Liberal 15%)
Also of interest: This previous post on statistics regarding Atheism and Christianity