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Religion in US Politics

Quotes (163)

Religion has long been a staple of American politics. At the national level politicians have continually evoked religious themes, whether addressing foreign policy, social, economic, and social issues, or their own convictions, and the nation continues to debate the proper role of religion in public life, including the structure of church-state relations and the nature of religious freedom in a religiously plural society. This resource page assembles statements from politicians, journalists, scholars, and activists as they contribute to this discussion. For a historical perspective on how American presidents have approached this issue, see here.

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  • July 29, 2013
    Six-in-ten or more white evangelical Protestants and Mormons think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, as do about half (52%) of Hispanic Catholics. By contrast, nearly nine-in-ten Jews say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, as do about seven-in-ten Americans with no religious affiliation and 63% of white mainline Protestants. Among both black Protestants and white Catholics, about half say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
  • August 8, 2013
    Prayer has been a hallmark of not just the Senate, but the House of Representatives, and state and local legislatures around the country. Legislative prayer is as familiar as the Pledge of Allegiance, and has a longer pedigree. Yet, it is a practice that is under assault by those who badly misunderstand Americans' unique appreciation for the complementary roles of faith and freedom in our constitutional republic. [...] Our Founders, and generations of Americans since, sought freedom of...
  • August 5, 2013
    I know we’re not supposed to say anything unkind about Islam. […] But can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days.’ You know, if you’ve kept up with the Middle East, you know that the most likely time to have an uprising of rock throwing and rioting comes on the day of prayer on Friday. So the Muslims will go to the mosque, and they will have their day of prayer, and they come out...
  • August 13, 2013
    I think there are [gay players] right now, and if they're looking for a window to just come out, I mean, now is the window. My view on it is, yes, I am a Christian, but to each his own. You do what you want to do. If some Christians want to look at being gay as a sin, then thinking about other women, committing adultery—or any of those other sins that are in the Bible—those are sins, too. And God looks at all of us the same way.
  • May 7, 2014
    The Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos and Religion finds that a majority (55%) of the nation’s estimated 35.4 million Latino adults—or about 19.6 million Latinos—identify as Catholic today. About 22% are Protestant (including 16% who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical) and 18% are religiously unaffiliated. The share of Hispanics who are Catholic likely has been in decline for at least the last few decades. But as recently as 2010, Pew Research...
  • January 16, 2013
    Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace. As we observe Religious Freedom Day, let us remember the legacy of faith and independence we have inherited, and let us honor it by forever upholding our right to exercise our beliefs free from prejudice or persecution. NOW,...
  • September 27, 2013
    More than 6-in-10 (62%) Hispanic Catholics and 8-in-10 (80%) religiously unaffiliated Hispanics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Hispanic mainline Protestants are divided, with 47% supporting same-sex marriage and 50% opposing it. In stark contrast, 8-in-10 (79%) evangelical Protestants oppose same-sex marriage, while just 1-in-5 (21%) support it. […] Less than half (47%) of Hispanic Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; a majority (52%) say abortion...
  • November 26, 2012
    I think people are misled to think the IRS wakes up every morning wanting to knock on the door of a church or synagogue. Most senators blanch at the idea of having an IRS agent in the pews listening to what's going on from the pulpit. [...] I think the IRS in some ways reflects that similar discomfort.
  • November 26, 2012
    Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance. But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
  • November 30, 2012
    There are people who are disappointed with the direction the United States has taken. [...] It’s primarily political and economic, and then they just find a religious cover for it [as] they tap into pre-existent religious language.
  • December 2, 2012
    I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.
  • December 4, 2012
    We should be wary of the consequences of a government untethered from the limited purpose of securing unalienable rights.
  • December 9, 2012
    And that’s really what Christmas is all about. Each of us is incredibly blessed in so many ways. But those blessings aren’t just meant to be enjoyed -- they’re meant to be used and shared with those who have less. The Christian faith teaches us that on this day a child was born so that we might have eternal life. And at the heart of many of the world’s great religions is the idea that we’re all better off when we treat our brothers and sisters with the same love and compassion that we want...
  • November 16, 2012
    The newly elected, 113th Congress includes the first Buddhist to serve in the Senate, the first Hindu to serve in either chamber and the first member of Congress to describe her religion as “none,” continuing a gradual increase in religious diversity that mirrors trends in the country as a whole. While Congress remains majority Protestant, the institution is far less so today than it was 50 years ago, when nearly three-quarters of the members belonged to Protestant denominations.
  • December 16, 2012
    All the world’s religions -- so many of them represented here today -- start with a simple question: Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose? We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. [...] There’s only one thing we can be sure...
  • August 15, 2012
    Six-in-ten Catholics and religiously unaffiliated Americans (62% and 60%) favor stricter gun control laws, compared to fewer than half of white evangelical Protestants (35%) and white mainline Protestants (42%).
  • August 15, 2012
    Roughly three-quarters of Americans say people should not be allowed to carry concealed guns in a church or place of worship (76%), in a government building (73%) or on a college campus (77%). Nearly one-third (32%) of white evangelical Protestants and 3-in-10 (27%) white mainline Protestants believe that people should be allowed to carry concealed guns in a church or place of worship. By contrast, fewer than 1-in-5 religiously unaffiliated Americans (18%) and Catholics (14%) say that people...
  • January 4, 2013
    I chose to take the oath of office with my personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita because its teachings have inspired me to strive to be a servant-leader, dedicating my life in the service of others and to my country. My Gita has been a tremendous source of inner peace and strength through many tough challenges in life, including being in the midst of death and turmoil while serving our country in the Middle East.
  • January 12, 2013
    I think it's a conversation we need to have and as evangelicals not be afraid to have. The Scriptures call us to love our neighbors more than we love our guns.
  • January 11, 2013
    Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months. [...] Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties.
  • December 23, 2012
    There is a mental health angle you have to deal with - I don't think we are taking care of those who are struggling with mental illness like we need to in America. There is the civil safety issue, which is gun control and, these assault weapons -- they don't call them assault weapons for nothing. There is the social issues you mentioned, when students are -- by the time they are 18, they have killed 10,000, 20,000 people on video games without any, you know, remorse for it. It creates a...
  • December 23, 2012
    I don't know what [President Barack Obama's] biggest accomplishment would be. I really don't know that. My biggest disappointment is the disunity. President Obama ran saying I'm going to be a unifier and our nation is more divided than ever before. I think it's more divided than at any time since the Civil War. That's disheartening to me.
  • December 24, 2012
    [President George W. Bush] also used his faith to authorize the greatest single health bill in history for people with AIDS, PEPFAR, which was the president's emergency plan for AIDS relief. In the last 10 years, I've been in 164 countries. And I have people who say 'my husband is alive because of President Bush.'
  • January 4, 2013
    Every American who loves freedom should shudder at the precedent the government is trying to establish by denying Hobby Lobby the full protection of the First Amendment. This case is nothing less than a landmark battle for America’s FIRST freedom, the freedom of religion and the freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience. [...] I predict that the battle to preserve religious liberty for all, in all areas of life, will likely become the civil rights movement of this decade.
  • January 21, 2013
    Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law [...] for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. [...] That is our generation’s task -- to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American.
  • January 21, 2013
    The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend...
  • January 19, 2013
    The initiatives announced by the American administration for limiting and controlling the spread and use of weapons are certainly a step in the right direction.
  • January 24, 2013
    We urge you to reflect on the wisdom in our church’s call for a ‘consistent ethic of life’ as you consider legislation in the coming months that can provide greater protection for our families and communities.
  • January 25, 2013
    I said something like, ‘Mr. President, I don't know the first thing about being President, but I know a bit about being a pastor. And during the Newtown vigil on December 16th after we heard what you did—I just want to say on behalf of all of us as clergy, thank you.’ And I added, ‘I turned to [my wife] Sandra that night and said, “Tonight he's the Pastor in Chief.”'
  • January 29, 2013
    Look at your first story about the flooding in Australia. Today is the three month anniversary of superstorm Sandy here. two years ago in my home city Nashville, massive flooding. These storms – it’s like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation on the news every day now and people are connecting the dots.
  • January 29, 2013
    Protestants and Catholics, who represent nearly three-quarters of Americans, must discern a path that takes seriously the increasing religious diversity of the nation and how religious freedom in America affects freedoms in other countries. By any measure, matters of religious freedom are likely to be an area of significant struggle in the years to come.
  • January 27, 2013
    This ecumenical effort, this mutual recognition of baptism, is part of our response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one.’
  • February 1, 2013
    HHS has done the right thing. This is a victory not only for the Obama administration, but for the Catholic Church.
  • February 2, 2013
    Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make scouting this very important and impactful organization.
  • February 4, 2013
    Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword." Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense. [...] As a veteran, I certainly recognize that this weekend’s violence and killing of Chris Kyle were a tragic and sad event. My condolences and prayers go out to Mr. Kyle’s family. Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars have endless unintended consequences. A policy of non-violence, as Christ preached, would have prevented this and similar tragedies.
  • February 5, 2013
    On the contrary, our members supported Proposition 8 based on sincere beliefs in the value of traditional marriage for children, families, society, and our republican form of government. Only a demeaning view of religion and religious believers could dismiss our advocacy of Proposition 8 as ignorance, prejudice, or animus.
  • February 7, 2013
    There is only one savior, and it is not me. #Jesus
  • February 7, 2013
    As President, sometimes I have to search for the words to console the inconsolable. Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a President and as a husband and as a father. I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better President. And I believe that we are united in these struggles. But I also believe that we are united in the knowledge of a redeeming Savior, whose grace is sufficient for the multitude of our sins, and...
  • February 7, 2013
    I know that all Americans—men and women of different faiths and, yes, those of no faith that they can name—are, nevertheless, joined together in common purpose, believing in something that is bigger than ourselves, and the ideals that lie at the heart of our nation’s founding—that as a people we are bound together. And so this morning, let us summon the common resolve that comes from our faith. [...] Let us retain that humility not just during this hour but for every hour....
  • February 11, 2013
    America is so powerful already so to have someone from our country is adding power. I think the Italian cardinals will think different about that. I think they would like the papacy back.
  • February 11, 2013
    In contemporary times, it was unthinkable. I think perhaps he was influenced by his predecessor [Saint John Paul II] whose declining years were very difficult for him and for the church.
  • February 11, 2013
    On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years. The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI's successor.
  • February 11, 2013
    And in that pursuit, we are blessed with guidance. God has told us how He wishes for us to spend our days. His Commandments are there to be followed. Jesus is there to guide us; the Holy Spirit, to help us. Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. See in everyone, even in those with whom you disagree most vehemently, the face of God. For we are all His children.
  • February 12, 2013
    Right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Now's the time to do it.
  • February 13, 2013
    Mississippi remained the most religious state in the union in 2012, with 58% of its residents classified as very religious. At the other end of the spectrum, Vermont remained the least religious state, with 19% of its residents classified as very religious.
  • January 24, 2013
    The wind and waves did not discriminate when it came to destroying property. The houses of worship are the very bedrock of the neighborhoods now trying to rebuild. To not offer natural disaster assistance grants to rebuild a house of worship just doesn't make any sense.
  • February 19, 2013
    I’ve experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. But in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances and be the better for it. In that light, I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington.
  • February 15, 2013
    The rationale for an American sensibility at the helm of the universal church goes deeper. The church desperately needs an infusion of modernity—and where better to find the spirit of entrepreneurship, the corporate agility and the technical capacity to project influence than in modernity’s global capital?
  • February 20, 2013
    The bottom line is that instead of recognizing that this is a coercive and unnecessary overreach by the government to force Catholic organizations to violate their consciences or go out of business, the government appears to have doubled down.
  • February 21, 2013
    Today we have an opportunity to do more: conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry. I’ve been married for 29 years. My marriage has been the greatest joy of my life. There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love. All Americans should be treated equally by the law, whether they marry in a church, another religious institution,...
  • February 21, 2013
    While about half of U.S. Catholics (46%) say the next pope should “move the church in new directions,” the other half (51%) say the new pope should “maintain the traditional positions of the church.” And among Catholics who say they attend Mass at least once a week, nearly two-thirds (63%) want the next pope to maintain the church’s traditional positions.
  • February 25, 2013
    Although the majority of Hispanics in the U.S. are Catholic, the smaller group of Hispanics who are Protestant are significantly more likely to be very religious (60%) than those who are Catholic (43%). [...] Hispanic Protestants are significantly more religious than all Protestants in the U.S. Hispanic Catholics, on the other hand, are no more religious than the general Catholic population.
  • February 26, 2013
    Congress will not hold anyone to blame [for America's wars in the Middle East]. Lyndon Johnson's probably rotting in hell right now because of the Vietnam War, and he probably needs to move over for Dick Cheney.
  • February 27, 2013
    If I went back to college today, I’d probably go back and be a comparative religion major and a comparative literature major, because those are the things that help you understand what makes people tick and how they’re working and how they think. But the important thing is to have the tolerance to say you can have a different point of view.
  • February 28, 2013
    In our church, we're used to serving and you know, you can be in a very high position, but you recognize you're serving. And now all of a sudden, you're released and you're nobody. And we're used to that. It's like we came and stepped forward to serve. And you know, the other part of it was an amazing thing, and it was really quite a lot of energy and a lot of passion and a lot of people around us and all of a sudden, it was nothing.
  • March 5, 2013
    Seven of 10 Catholics polled said the next pope should let priests marry, let women become priests and allow the use of artificial methods of birth control. Nine of 10 said they wanted the next pope to allow the use of condoms to prevent the spread of H.I.V. and other diseases. Sixty-two percent of Catholics said they were in favor of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples. Catholics approved of same-sex marriage at a higher rate than Americans as a whole, among whom 53 percent approved.
  • March 6, 2013
    As the Roman Catholic Church prepares for a conclave to elect a new pope, Catholics in the United States tend to view the scandal over sex abuse by clergy as the most important problem facing their church today. Asked to say in their own words what they think is the Catholic Church’s most important problem, 34% of U.S. Catholics mention sex abuse, pedophilia or some other reference to the scandal. No other problem garners more than 10% of responses.
  • March 8, 2013
    We pray God today that you will heal the breach between the U.S. and Venezuela. While it may be politically difficult, it's the morally right thing to do. How do we measure a great leader? By how he treats the least of these. Hugo fed the hungry. He lifted the poor. He raised their hopes. He helped them realize their dreams.
  • March 10, 2013
    After St. Patrick's Church—here's a secret—this [his titular church of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monte Mario in Rome] is my favorite. Don't tell the people of New York, OK?
  • March 12, 2013
    The discussion about immigration is not about documented and undocumented immigrants. It is about the very nature of who we are as Americans — our beliefs, our morals and our need to share the unalienable rights our immigrant forefathers bequeathed upon us 238 years ago. [...] Is this our Christian theology? Are these the values of our Declaration and Constitution? Is this how we raise our children?
  • March 15, 2013
    The Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr., Vice President of the United States, will lead the delegation. The Honorable Susana Martinez, Governor of the State of New Mexico; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives and United States Representative from California; [and] Dr. John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University [are members.]
  • March 20, 2013
    We stand together because peace must come to the Holy Land. Even as we are clear eyed about the difficulties, we will never lose sight of the vision of an Israel at peace with its neighbours.
  • March 21, 2013
    Majorities of all religious groups, including Hispanic Catholics (74%), Hispanic Protestants (71%), black Protestants (70%), Jewish Americans (67%), Mormons (63%), white Catholics (62%), white mainline Protestants (61%), and white evangelical Protestants (56%) agree that the immigration system should allow immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements.
  • March 21, 2013
    Most religious Americans are not hearing frequently about the issue of immigration in church. Among those who attend church at least once or twice a month, roughly 1-in-5 say their clergy leader speaks about the issue of immigration sometimes (16%) or often (6%). [...] Hispanic Catholics (54%) are the only religious group among whom a majority report that their clergy leader speaks about the issue of immigration sometimes or often.
  • March 27, 2013
    The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That’s where the compelling argument is. ‘We’re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else.’ That’s a compelling argument, and to deny that, you have got to have a very strong argument on the other side. The argument on the other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.
  • March 31, 2013
    More and more people are saying, you know what, I don't have trouble with god, I don't have trouble with Jesus, I don't have trouble with faith, I do have some troubles with the church. That's a major pastoral challenge, not only for us as Catholics, but for the other revealed religions.
  • March 29, 2013
    As Christians, my family and I remember the incredible sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us—how He took on the sins of the world and extended the gift of salvation. And we recommit ourselves to following His example here on Earth. To loving our Lord and Savior. To loving our neighbors. And to seeing in everyone, especially “the least of these,” as a child of God. Of course, those values are at the heart not just of the Christian faith; but of all faiths. From Judaism to...
  • April 4, 2013
    Your belief system is constitutionally protected and I respect it. But if you think you will influence any U.S. policy with a 'sin'-analysis, you are misguided in the extreme. If you want to stop your country from going down the drain, fight smart.
  • April 6, 2013
    The new survey finds that 34 percent of adults would favor establishing Christianity as the official state religion in their own state, while 47 percent would oppose doing so. Thirty-two percent said that they would favor a constitutional amendment making Christianity the official religion of the United States, with 52 percent saying they were opposed.
  • April 4, 2013
    The Archdiocese for the Military Services and Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty recently became aware of a U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity Training Brief that expressly listed “Catholicism,” “Evangelical Christianity,” and other religious groups as examples of “religious extremism” alongside groups such as “Al Qaeda”, “Hamas” and the “KKK.” The Archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist....
  • April 8, 2013
    It is a false rumor: Pastor Joel is not leaving the church. -JOM Team
  • April 10, 2013
    I think it’s important that people know that for the country to get better it needs more than just politicians. Politicians aren’t enough and it needs resurgence through churches, through revivals through a spiritual cleansing of the people.
  • April 10, 2013
    When we talk about war, that I think part of Republicans problems and frankly to tell you the truth some in the evangelical Christian movement I think have appeared too eager for war. [...] When I read the New Testament, when I read about Jesus, he wasn't really involved with a war of his days. In fact people rebuked him for not being the king they wanted. [...] We're talking about 'Blessed are the Peacemakers' not 'Blessed are the Warmakers.’ That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a strong...
  • April 11, 2013
    [Anti-abortion advocates] need to work with people who consider themselves pro-choice – because our task isn't to purge our ranks. It's to grow them. We don't want a country where abortion is simply outlawed. We want a country where it isn't even considered.
  • April 15, 2013
    [...T]he Prefect of the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith], Most Rev. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, expressed his gratitude for the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years. The Prefect then highlighted the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the important mission of Religious to promote a...
  • April 15, 2013
    [The] American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight [...] on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats. We are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.
  • April 15, 2013
    The Archdiocese of Boston joins all people of good will in expressing deep sorrow following the senseless acts of violence perpetrated at the Boston Marathon today. Our prayers and concern are with so many who experienced the trauma of these acts, most especially the loved ones of those who lives were lost and those who were injured, and the injured themselves. [...] In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of...
  • April 16, 2013
    We also know this -- the American people refuse to be terrorized. Because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love: Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets. The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives. The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some...
  • April 16, 2013
    Mr. President, we understand these matters are not simple. Nonetheless, we feel obliged as people and communities of faith to raise fundamental moral and ethical questions about the evolving kinds of warfare this nation is now pursuing.
  • April 18, 2013
    Scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. [...] On Monday morning, the sun rose over Boston. [...] In Hopkinton, runners laced up their shoes and set out on a 26.2-mile test of dedication and grit and the human spirit. [...] And then, in an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered. A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss. But we also come together today to reclaim that state of grace, to reaffirm that the...
  • April 21, 2013
    Forgiveness does not mean that we do not realize the heinousness of the crime. But in our own hearts when we are unable to forgive we make ourselves a victim of our own hatred. Obviously as a Catholic I oppose the death penalty, which I think is one further manifestation of the culture of death in our midst.
  • April 23, 2013
    [The report] finds high levels of concern about religious extremism among Muslims in the North Caucasus area of Russia and the neighboring Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
  • April 23, 2013
    [U.S. wars were based on the Bible, which is] a cheap copy of the Koran [...] in Afghanistan, most casualties are innocent bystanders killed by American soldiers.
  • April 25, 2013
    Less than 3-in-10 (29%) white evangelical Protestants, 40% of Catholics, and 40% of minority Christians favor making the use of marijuana legal. Nearly half (49%) of white mainline Protestants favor making the use of marijuana legal, while 45% are opposed. By contrast, nearly two-thirds (66%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans favor making marijuana legal. Young adults (age 18-29) are more likely than middle-aged Americans (age 50-64) or seniors (65 and older) to favor the legalization of...
  • April 28, 2013
    I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist I used to be.
  • April 30, 2013
    The percentage of Muslims who say they want sharia to be “the official law of the land” varies widely around the world, from fewer than one-in-ten in Azerbaijan (8%) to near unanimity in Afghanistan (99%). But solid majorities in most of the countries surveyed across the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia favor the establishment of sharia, including 71% of Muslims in Nigeria, 72% in Indonesia, 74% in Egypt and 89% in the Palestinian territories.
  • April 29, 2013
    My parents instilled Christian values in me. They taught Sunday school, and I enjoyed lending a hand. I take the teachings of Jesus seriously, particularly the ones that touch on tolerance and understanding. On family trips, my parents made a point to expose us to new things, religious and cultural. In Utah, we visited the Mormon Salt Lake Temple. In Atlanta, the house of Martin Luther King Jr. That early exposure to otherness made me the guy who accepts everyone unconditionally. [...] When I...
  • April 30, 2013
    Many of these countries [such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Nigeria] top the U.S. foreign policy agenda, and religion is a core component in their makeup. Successful U.S. foreign policy recognizes the critical role religious freedom plays in each of these nations and prioritizes accordingly. Religious freedom is both a pivotal human right under international law and a key factor that helps determine whether a nation experiences stability or chaos.
  • May 1, 2013
    Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving families and a suffering community that they are not alone. Their pain is a shared pain, and their hope a shared hope. [..] All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of...
  • May 5, 2013
    We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? We are burying a dead body. That’s what we do.
  • May 5, 2013
    I’m dealing with logistics. A dead person needs to be buried — that’s what tradition requires, that’s what religion requires, that’s what morals require.
  • May 7, 2013
    Some guy came up to me the other day, and he said, ‘You look a lot like Lazarus.' I am an imperfect man, saved by God’s grace, and one who has a conviction of the importance of doing something about spending in Washington, D.C. I am going to try to be the best congressman I could have ever been.
  • May 8, 2013
    The Kountze cheerleaders banners that included religious messages and were displayed during the 2012 football season were constitutionally permissable. Neither the Establishment Clause nor any other law prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events. Neither the Establishment Clause nor any other law requires Kountze ISD [Independent School District] to prohibit inclusion of religious-themed banners at school sporting events.
  • May 10, 2013
    Because the Gospel of Life is the centerpiece of the Church’s social doctrine and because we consider abortion a crime against humanity, the Catholic Bishops of the United States have asked that Catholic institutions not honor government officials or politicians who promote abortion with their laws and policies. Recently I learned that the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Hon. Mr. Enda Kenny was slated to receive an honorary degree at Boston College’s graduation this year. [...] Since the...
  • May 12, 2013
    Faith isn't a Christmas ornament; it's not something you save for a special occasion. It's something you live with and struggle with every day. That's why it's so frustrating and so comforting. [...] How does a Catholic public servant apply Catholic social teaching? [On some issues] the teaching is crystal clear, [but on others] there's a broad arc of prudential judgment, and there's room for everybody.
  • May 22, 2013
    Intolerance in the name of “tolerance” must be named for what it is and publically condemned. To deny religiously informed moral argument a place in the public square is intolerant and anti-democratic. Or to put it another way, where there might be a clash of rights, religious freedom must never be regarded as inferior. On the other hand, the issue of religious freedom cannot and should not be incorporated into that of tolerance. If, in fact, this was the supreme human and civilian value,...
  • May 24, 2013
    Frankly, I can't imagine a Southern Baptist pastor who would continue to allow his church to sponsor a Boy Scout troop under these new rules. I predict there will be a mass exodus of Southern Baptists and other conservative Christians from the Boy Scouts. [...] In the year 2000, the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts did not have to have homosexual Scoutmasters because the homosexual lifestyle was contrary to the core values of Scouts. If you're going to allow openly gay Scouts to participate...
  • May 29, 2013
    I want to thank God for his blessings upon the United States of America. You see, it is God who has given me the strength, the conviction and the personal fortitude to fight to enhance the safety, security, longevity and wellbeing of our blessed nation, the United States of America. I say to each one of you: God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
  • May 29, 2013
    Over three-quarters of Americans (77%) say religion is losing its influence on American life, while 20% say religion's influence is increasing. These represent Americans' most negative evaluations of the impact of religion since 1970, although similar to the views measured in recent years. [...] These perceptions of religion's influence in American society are not related to Americans' personal religiosity, as measured by church attendance or the self-reported importance of religion in one's...
  • May 30, 2013
    Majorities of all religious groups, including 8-in-10 (80%) minority Protestants, 71% of Catholics, 66% of religiously unaffiliated Americans, 65% of white mainline Protestants, and 60% of white evangelical Protestants, favor programs which make special efforts to help blacks and other minorities get ahead in order to make up for past discrimination.
  • May 30, 2013
    A slim majority (51%) of white mainline Protestants, more than 6-in-10 (62%) Catholics, and roughly three-quarters (73%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. In contrast, only 36% of minority Protestants and about one-quarter (26%) of white evangelical Protestants favor same-sex marriage. More than 7-in-10 (71%) white evangelical Protestants oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. [...] Majorities of every major...
  • June 3, 2013
    Barely 36 hours after the caustic New Year’s Day vote, [Speaker of the House John] Boehner faced a coup attempt from a clutch of renegade conservatives. The cabal quickly fell apart when several Republicans, after a night of prayer, said God told them to spare the speaker. Still, Boehner came within a few votes of failing to secure his speakership on the initial vote, an outcome that would have forced a second ballot for the first time in nearly a century.
  • June 6, 2013
    White evangelical Protestants, by about two-to-one (59% to 30%), think that homosexuality should be discouraged. Among black Protestants, as well, more say homosexuality should be discouraged (51%) than accepted (39%). By contrast, wide majorities of Catholics (71%) and white mainline Protestants (65%) say homosexuality should be accepted by society. And those without religious affiliation favor societal acceptance of homosexuality by roughly five-to-one (79% to 16%). [...] Fully 78% of white...
  • June 6, 2013
    The words on our monument do not deride or mock, but rather they clarify and correct assertions that Christianity has some kind of special place in America over other religious positions. It does not.
  • June 7, 2013
    In short, Baptist churches that charter Scout units have the power to enforce a code of conduct on the boys that precludes their ability to engage in any kind of sexual activity and to bring disciplinary measures to bear on youth who violate the code of conduct, even to the point of removing them if their behavior becomes detrimental to the unit or the reputation of the charter organization. [...] Churches must take a proactive approach to Scouting and involve members of the local...
  • June 11, 2013
    [Some in the Republican Party think] that maybe we need to dial it back a little bit when it comes to issues like the sanctity of life and the holiness of marriage, and maybe just ease off. Well, I've got a news flash for the GOP: I plan to take my last ride in life on a white horse, not on an elephant and not on a donkey. And I will stick with the Word of God. And if the party, any party, goes a different way, I stick with Jesus. I believe He is forever.
  • June 13, 2013
    It’s clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used in a war against Christianity. [...] These countries [like Egypt and Syria] are not our allies, and no amount of money is going to make them so. It makes no sense. Should we be sending F-16s and tanks to Egypt when (President Mohammed) Morsi says Jews are descendants of apes and pigs? [...] Even if all the atrocities against Christians were not being committed, we wouldn’t have the money to be sending to these countries. We’re borrowing...
  • June 15, 2013
    Where is our commander in chief? We’re talking now more new interventions. I say until we know what we’re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he’s doing, well, let these radical Islamic countries who aren’t even respecting basic human rights, where both sides are slaughtering each other as they scream over an arbitrary red line, ‘Allah Akbar,’ I say until we have someone who knows what they’re doing, I say let Allah sort it out.
  • June 17, 2013
    Because issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity -- symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others -- these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it. If towns remain divided -- if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs -- if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation. [...] It's within your power...
  • June 18, 2013
    Today census data reveals fewer lasting marriages, fewer marriages, more interfaith (and often religiously “diluting”) families, women adding work outside of the home to their work in the home, the mobility and the rootlessness that goes with this--all of these factors at odds with the traditional, habitual, reflexive identification of a people with a religious membership or involvement. The heirs of the dwindling white majority can complain or explain, or they can accept the changes and help...
  • June 20, 2013
    The new study also finds that reports of harassment or intimidation of Muslims increased worldwide during 2011. Muslims were harassed by national, provincial or local governments or by individuals or groups in society in 101 countries, up from 90 countries the year before. Christians continued to be harassed in the largest number of countries (105), although this represented a decrease from the previous year (111 countries). Jews were harassed in 69 countries, about the same as the year...
  • June 20, 2013
    Before the Arab Spring, government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion were higher in the Middle East and North Africa than in any other region of the world. Government restrictions in the region remained high in 2011, while social hostilities markedly increased. For instance, the number of countries in the region experiencing sectarian or communal violence between religious groups doubled from five to 10. [...] Globally, the share of countries with high or very...
  • June 26, 2013
    Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also...
  • June 26, 2013
    The gay and lesbian people in your community aren’t part of some global “Gay Agenda” conspiracy. They aren’t super-villains in some cartoon. They are, like all of us, seeking a way that seems right to them. If we believe marriage is as resilient as Jesus says it is (Mk. 10:6-9), it cannot be eradicated by a vote of justices or a vote of a state legislature. [...] If your church has been preaching the American Dream, with eternal life at the end and Jesus as the means you use to get all that,...
  • June 26, 2013
    My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: "Jesus wept."
  • June 26, 2013
    On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.
  • June 26, 2013
    Ur belief (which I reject) shouldn't deny others 2 equal protection under the law RT @PastorOVJ: God created marriage 2b between man & woman
  • June 26, 2013
    Today’s rulings announce a new era for our country, one in which married lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans can finally enjoy the same federal recognition and protection that our laws have for so long extended to their fellow citizens. I rejoice in the knowledge that the justices have reached a decision that makes our union—indeed all our unions—more perfect and certainly more equal. [...] Today’s rulings advance civil marriage equality, but they should also serve as a call for...
  • June 27, 2013
    White evangelicals [...] report stronger feelings of pride than other religious groups. More than two-thirds (68%) of white evangelicals say they are extremely proud to be American, compared to 56% of white mainline Protestants, 49% of minority Christians, 48% of Catholics, and 39% of religiously unaffiliated Americans. [...] More than 8-in-10 white evangelicals agree that God has granted America a special role in human history, compared to 40% of religiously unaffiliated Americans. Roughly...
  • June 30, 2013
    Thank you [President Obama] and the American people. You heard everyone here thanking you so much for the contribution that the PEPFAR fund has made in our struggle against TB, HIV, and AIDS, and malaria -- not just here, but in other parts of Africa. [...Y]ou have heard us speak of something called Ubuntu -- Ubuntu -- and we’ve said a person is a person to other persons. Your success is our success. [...] And so we want to assure you that we pray for you to be a great success. We want you to...
  • July 1, 2013
    People have found it comfortable to find a way to think about the Civil War in terms of valor and heroism. We want to really look at these other parts of it—causes, consequences—and leave people thinking there's more to this than just the simple answers. [...] It's really a war of words that precedes the war of sabers and guns. The slavery debate is very influenced by biblical passages to support one side or the other.
  • July 1, 2013
    ZIMMERMAN: In Catholic religion, it’s always wrong to kill someone.

    SINGLETON: If what you’re telling me is true, I don’t think that what God meant was that you couldn’t save your own life.
  • July 2, 2013
    The new, nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life asked Americans whether having “more people who are not religious” is a good thing, a bad thing, or doesn’t matter for American society. Many more say it is bad than good (48% versus 11%). But about four-in-ten (39%) say it does not make much difference. Even among adults who do not identify with any religion, only about a quarter (24%) say the trend is good, while nearly as many say it is bad (19%); a...
  • July 11, 2013
    It has been assumed in most of the literature that fear of deportation is associated with use of health services, across the board. There is a strong belief by many workers that they don’t want to touch the system because it might hurt their chances of someday becoming documented or jeopardize their children’s well-being. [...] Some churches provide support to migrant farmworkers, which may include connecting them with needed dental care. So we see that when services are offered by trusted...
  • July 9, 2013
    If this administration is going to continue to tolerate this kind of intolerance, they’re going to lose members of the military that cannot serve if their First Amendment rights are not going to be protected with regard to religion.
  • July 11, 2013
    Americans continue to hold the military in high regard, with more than three-quarters of U.S. adults (78%) saying that members of the armed services contribute “a lot” to society’s well-being. [...] By contrast, just 37% of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009. Regular churchgoers tend to be more positive about ministers, priests and other clergy members. But even among adults who say they attend religious services at least once a...
  • July 14, 2013
    The verdict reminds us that as a people we lean on the law, trust the law, embrace the law, but it seems the law doesn't embrace us. We will not allow Trayvon's death to be a death in vain. [...] They [Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's parents] are upset. They are very heartbroken over losing a child, as any parent would be. But she has faith in God.
  • July 14, 2013
    We are saddened and disappointed by this decision. It is a pattern involving young black men that is too often repeating itself. In my view the American legal system has once again failed justice. The jury, no black and no men, was always suspect. [...] The whole world observed this painful conclusion. Every avenue in the law was watching. I hope that no one will compound our pain with street justice. It will do damage to the innocent blood and legacy of Trayvon Martin. [...] The struggle for...
  • July 13, 2013
    The community of Central Florida is not accustomed to hearing white Christian leaders say, "Our concern is for the community as a whole, not just our personal congregations." I think that is a part of my responsibility as a bishop. That was one of the reasons that I was glad to be involved with the march [that ended at a Sanford town hall meeting on March 26, 2012], despite the horrific circumstances that led to it. Especially as a new bishop, I want to set an example that part of the...
  • July 22, 2013
    I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversy at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language. That...
  • July 18, 2013
    The gulf between how religious leaders discuss immigrants as children of God and how many House Republicans talk about immigrants as criminals and gang-bangers has been noticed by many of my colleagues. A few of the Republicans who have quietly told me they are hoping we resolve the issue in a sensible, just way have told me the fact that evangelical preachers talk about immigrants and their families as human beings really got their attention.
  • July 25, 2013
    Throughout our history, Islam has contributed to the character of our country, and Muslim Americans, and their good works, have helped to build our nation -- and we’ve seen the results. We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants -- farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities. Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped to unlock the secrets of our universe. [...] These yearnings for economic freedom and...
  • August 6, 2013
    [Global warming] is not proven, it's not science. It's more of a religion than a science. [...] Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists') analysis. There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer. ... And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don't know if we'd know that.
  • August 12, 2013
    As a moral issue, we predict that the opposition to gay civil rights will not have the same staying power as the abortion debate. [...] We've known that moderate and ambivalent evangelicals are there, but now they are actually starting to have a voice and beginning to be more political.
  • August 13, 2013
    The a-ha moment for me was the 2012 Democratic National Convention. It was just awful. I just said I can't be associated structurally with that group, in terms of abortion and NARAL [Pro-Choice America] and Planned Parenthood and [the] same-sex marriage agenda and cultural destruction I saw going on. I just couldn't do it anymore. [...] Would Jesus be a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative? I'm going to punt on that question and say: all of the above and none of the above....
  • August 21, 2013
    We want to try to pull out all the stops. [Catholic lawmakers] have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you’re not successful during the summer, you’re not going to win by the end of the year. [...] If a representative gets contacted by their bishop and the representative is Catholic, they listen and they strongly take into consideration the views of the church.
  • August 23, 2013
    There has been no effort, so far as I know, to ask Southern Baptists to market the Affordable Care Act in this way [by helping people navigate the sign-up process]. It’d make about as much sense as Budweiser sponsoring the Southern Baptist annual meeting.
  • August 23, 2013
    Medicaid expansion is part of what people of faith consider to be respecting the worth and dignity of human beings. We believe in the worth and dignity of all human beings as created in the image of God.
  • August 26, 2013
    What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and — despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured — it is undeniable. [...] And there is a reason why, no matter what you believe about Syria, all peoples and all nations who...
  • August 28, 2013
    Everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day [of the March on Washington]—that change does not come from Washington, but to Washington; that change has always been built on our willingness, We The People, to take on the mantle of citizenship—you are marching. [...] That's the promise of tomorrow—that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. That when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith...
  • August 28, 2013
    In the face of hatred, [those in the civil rights movement] prayed for their tormentors. In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in, with the moral force of nonviolence. Willingly, they went to jail to protest unjust laws, their cells swelling with the sound of freedom songs. A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us. [...] Because they marched, America became more free and more fair -- not just for African Americans,...
  • August 27, 2013
    66% of adults think it is important for public schools to teach the values of the Bible. Still, 75% think teaching about the Bible in public schools could be valid because it teaches moral principles badly needed today. 45% think a valid objection to teaching the Bible is because it would favor one religion over another. 32% fear it might offend people. 11% think it would take time away from learning other subjects. 9% believe there is no valid reason to teach the Bible in schools.
  • September 4, 2013
    [...Raoul Wallenberg] lived out one of the most important mitzvot, most important commandments in the Jewish tradition—to redeem a captive; to save a life; the belief that when a neighbor is suffering, we cannot stand idly by. [...] I cannot think of a better tribute to Raoul Wallenberg than for each of us—as individuals and as nations—to reaffirm our determination to live the values that defined his life, and to make the same choice in our time. And so today we say that we...
  • September 6, 2013
    While the data from different surveys taken at different times varies, Americans generally are less willing to support foreign policies on moral or humanitarian grounds than when they are cast as directly benefiting the United States or its allies.
  • September 9, 2013
    As a former U.S. Attorney appointed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I strongly believe we need to do everything in our power to prevent terrorist attacks on our country and keep our people safe. I also believe we must protect and maintain civil liberties, especially those of the citizens in New Jersey's Muslim community. This bipartisan legislation [which requires out-of-state law-enforcement entities to inform local officials 24 hours in advance of conducting activities] will help us...
  • September 11, 2013
    The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. [...] It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance. [...] I carefully studied [President Barack Obama's] address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he...
  • September 13, 2013
    Twitter and smartphones provided an unanticipated and soul-stirring alternative to conventional words of prayer [in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting], inviting us to forgo language altogether and bring the poetry of silence to our contemporary religious practices. Beyond such creative practices of prayer, Twitter also provides a forum for human solidarity among people of diverse faiths. […S]ocial media creates new avenues for innovative religious practices, like photo...
  • September 24, 2013
    We will reject the notion that these principles [in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] are simply Western exports, incompatible with Islam or the Arab World. We believe they are the birthright of every person. […] For the hard work of forging freedom and democracy is the task of a generation. And this includes efforts to resolve sectarian tensions that continue to surface in places like Iraq, Bahrain and Syria. We understand such longstanding issues cannot be solved by outsiders; they...
  • October 1, 2013
    [...A]bout seven-in-ten Jews identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Jews are more supportive of President Barack Obama than are most other religious groups. And about eight-in-ten Jews say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Interestingly, one Jewish subgroup does not fit this liberal, Democratic profile: Orthodox Jews. Roughly half of Orthodox Jews describe themselves as political conservatives, and 57% identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. And in their...
  • October 2, 2013
    I tell you, I have been hugely impressed with the pope's pronouncements. Not because—of any particular issue, but […] he seems somebody who—lives out—the teachings of Christ. Incredible humility—incredible sense of empathy to the least of these, to the poor. And he's also somebody who's— I think first and foremost, thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away. [...] And that […] sense of love and unity—seems to manifest itself—in—not just what he says, but also what he...
  • October 7, 2013
    But it’s more than tragic—in fact it’s shameful—that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting our children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence. [...] In its wisdom, the church came to its senses and labeled both racism and sexism as sinful. […] We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism...
  • October 7, 2013
    [President Barack Obama's support of Syrian rebels] happened and as of today the United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists, now what this says to me, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, as I look at the End Times scripture, this says to me that the leaf is on the fig tree and we are to understand the signs of the times, which is your ministry, we are to understand where we are in God’s end times history. [...] And so when we see up is down and right is called...
  • October 29, 2013
    About one-quarter (26 percent) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement are libertarians. Twice as many Americans who identify with the Tea Party (52 percent) say they are a part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement. In contrast, only 22 percent of libertarians identify as part of the Christian right movement. Overall, libertarians and members of the Tea Party are roughly equal in size, making up seven percent and 10 percent of the adult population...
  • December 9, 2009
    Roughly three-in-ten Americans (29%) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died. Nearly one-in-five say they have been in the presence of a ghost (18%), while 15% say they have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic. [...] Evangelical Protestants are the group least likely to say they have felt in touch with a dead person (20%). Members of other religious traditions are much more familiar with this type of phenomenon, with 37% of black Protestants, 35% of white Catholics, 31% of...
  • December 11, 2013
    Among [American] Catholics, 92 percent have a favorable view of [Pope] Francis and 95 percent say the same of the church. [...] Ninety-four percent of Catholics who identify as moderate or liberal say they have favorable views of Francis, compared with 73 percent who said the same of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, after he announced his retirement. Among politically conservative Catholics, 91 percent are favorable toward Francis, compared with 84 percent who said the same of Francis’s...
  • December 17, 2013
    White evangelical Protestants are significantly more likely than other religious groups to say stores should use “merry Christmas” instead of “happy holidays,” with 62% saying they prefer that businesses use the explicitly religious greeting. White mainline Protestants and Catholics are more divided. Among white mainline Protestants, 46% say they prefer businesses to use “merry Christmas” but 43% disagree. Half (50%) of Catholics say they prefer stores use “happy holidays”, but a substantial...
  • February 4, 2014
    Only half of young adults (ages 18 to 29) report that they even post their religious identity on their profile page. Just 1-in-10 (10 percent) of young adults report following a religious or spiritual leader on Twitter or Facebook, while 13 percent say they have joined a religious or spiritual group on Facebook. Young people aren’t the only ones hesitant to mix religion with social media. Among Americans overall who attend religious services regularly, only about 1-in-5 (17 percent) say their...
  • February 6, 2014
    We see governments engaging in discrimination and violence against the faithful. We sometimes see religion twisted in an attempt to justify hatred and persecution against other people just because of who they are, or how they pray or who they love. Old tensions are stoked, fueling conflicts along religious lines, as we’ve seen in the Central African Republic recently, even though to harm anyone in the name of faith is to diminish our own relationship with God. […P]romoting religious freedom...
  • March 27, 2014
    And [income inequality] isn't just an economic issue, it's a moral issue. I think the Pope was speaking to the danger that over time we grow accustomed to this kind of inequality and accept it as normal. But we can't. […] It doesn't mean we agree on every issue, but his voice is one that I think the world needs to hear. He challenges us. He implores us to remember the people, especially the poor, who are affected by the economic decisions we make.
  • March 27, 2014
    I actually will probably read this [gift from Pope Francis] in the Oval Office when I'm deeply frustrated. I'm sure it will give me strength and calm me down.
  • June 2, 2014
    A majority of Catholics believe that publicly-held corporations (56%), privately-owned corporations (54%), and privately-owned small businesses (53%) should be required to provide their employees with health insurance that includes contraception. However, Catholics are divided about whether religiously-affiliated hospitals (50% should, 47% should not) or religiously-affiliated colleges (49% should, 49% should not) should be required to provide contraception coverage for employees with their...
  • June 2, 2014
    A majority (54%) of Americans believe that the right of religious liberty is being threatened in America today. [...] Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to say that religious liberty is being threatened (80% vs. 40%). A majority of Democrats (55%) say that religious liberty is not under threat in the U.S. Independents are more closely divided with 51% reporting that religious liberty is under threat, while 43% say it is not. […] More than 8-in-10 (83%) white evangelical Protestants...
  • July 16, 2014
    Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party tend to rate evangelicals very positively (71 on average). They also express warm feelings toward Jews (67 on average) and Catholics (66). […] Among those who are not evangelical Christians, evangelicals receive an average rating of 62. Mormons receive a neutral rating from Republicans and Republican leaners (52 on average), while Buddhists receive a rating of 49 and Hindus a rating of 47. […] Democrats and Democratic leaners express...