Sunday, June 19, 2005

On Religion and Politics

A recent AP/Ipsos poll surveyed 1000 people in 10 nations about their beliefs about religion and politics.

One crystal clear finding is that while religion plays an important part in the lives of some, the majority believe that religious leaders should not try to influence government decisions. Three cheers for separation of church and state!

However, the country that proclaims the separation of church and state had the highest percentage (37%) of respondents who said religious leaders should try to influence the government. And, religion seems to be quite popular here in the land of stars and stripes. 84% of US respondents said religion is important in their lives.

Of note were the responses of the two “most Catholic” countries. 92% of Italian respondents indicated they were Catholic. 80% of Italian respondents said religion was important, and 30% said religious leaders should influence the government. In the results from Mexico, where 83% indicated they were Catholic, 86% of Mexican respondents think religion is important, and just 20% think religious leaders should influence the government.

The survey asked 4 questions:

1. Do you think religious leaders should or should not try to influence government decisions?
2. How important would you say religion is in your own life?
3. Which of the following statements comes closest to expressing what you believe about God:
  • I don’t believe in God
  • I don’t know whether there is a God and I don’t believe there is any way to find out
  • I don’t believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a higher power of some kind.
  • I find myself believing in God some of the time but not at others.
  • While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God.
  • I know God really exists, and I have no doubts about it.
  • Not sure
4. What is your religion, if any
  • Catholic
  • Protestant
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Other Religion
  • No Religion
  • Not Sure
    What do you think about the results? How would you answer these questions? Chime in!


    Post a Comment

    << Home