Any correlation between religious denomination and political alignment?

I often get the impression that there tends to be some rough correlation between a person’s religious and political views. Why else would we see so many right-wingers belonging to fundamentalist churches? And so many leftist Unitarians? This is a very crude breakdown, but there might be some finer patterns discernible.
The Presbyterians look to me like they express a moderately liberal political view, while the Church of Christ is considerably more liberal, situated between the Presbyterians and Unitarians.
Methodists and Lutherans seem pretty well middle of the road, as far as I can tell, or maybe they’re just apolitical. Episcopalians may or may not tend to be moderately conservative. (This is all very fuzzy, so far… I don’t know Protestantism all that well.)

Jews have often been in the forefront of left-wing causes over the past century, and yet there are always ultra right wing Jews (Roy Cohn, Ari Fleischer) as the exception to prove the rule.

This analysis, if it works at all, probably only works with Protestant Christians. The Roman Catholics cannot be politically classified along any conventional right/left spectrum; the Catholic position derives from a premodern set of ethics that existed long before the secular right/left spectrum was invented. So Catholic positions are a combination of some issues that are conventionally considered “left” and others “right.”

Some of the most extreme Fundamentalists hold that the world is corrupt and they expect Jesus to come back and wipe it all out anyway, so they shun politics; they don’t make very good fodder for right-wing politicians.

American Muslims are sort of like Catholics, politically: all over the spectrum. I have no idea where American Hindus and Buddhists fit into politics (if at all). I would hazard a guess that Wiccans and neopagans tend toward the liberal side. But what about the revival of Norse paganism? Asatrú? Aren’t there branches of that in Europe allied with quasi-Nazi racism?

What interests me is the possibility of underlying psychological tendencies that might allow correlation of religious and political views: the more authoritarian or control freak traits manifesting in both fundamentalism and right wing/militarist politics (e.g. Ashcroft or Pat Robertson); the looser, more free-‘n’-easy traits coming out as liberation theology and democratic left politics. And the traits preferring bland stability manifesting as middle-of-the-road average Methodist or Lutheran folks.

Then there’s the frequent association of scientistic/materialist atheism and Libertarian politics that is so much in evidence here at the SDMB…?

Whoa baby, have I opened up multiple cans of worms here or what? Religion and politics at the same time! Is there any group I have missed a chance to offend here?;j

P.S. I forgot about the association of atheism with the Marxist/socialist/Communist Left. But that stuff is kind of old hat now. The doctrinaire insistence on militant atheism by Marxists has been left behind by postmodern left-anarchism which has more important things to do than attack religion.

I see debates about between postmodern left-anarchists and old-fashioned doctrinaire Marxists: the new new leftists think the atheist Marxists are ridiculous for insisting on anti-religion and wish they would just drop it already.

I am personally involved with the religious left, so atheist leftism is not very significant to me; that’s why I forgot to mention it at first. I like Dostoevsky’s statement from The Brothers Karamazov: “‘We are not particularly afraid,’ said he, ‘of all these socialists, anarchists, infidels, and revolutionists; we keep watch on them and know all their goings on. But there are a few peculiar men among them who believe in God and are Christians, but at the same time are socialists. These are the people we are most afraid of. They are dreadful people. The socialist who is a Christian is more to be dreaded than a socialist who is an atheist.’”

Episcopalians, in my experience as one in three different parishes for just shy of 25 years, tend to be politically liberal, so long as liberal governments doesn’t mess up their financial arrangements.

While psychological traits among individuals of various religions may have a lot to due with party affliliation, I imagine a lot of it in the US has to due primarily with the political stance of either party, mostly relative to immigration, at the time of arrival.

Both religious and political beliefs are largely passed on from one’s parents, so such bonds can continue for generations after the original choice.

You mentioned Lutherans as “middle of the road” politically.

In the US at least, there are several types of Lutherans, who tend to split up rather differently.

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod/Missouri Synod Lutherans are as far to the right as Evangelical Lutheran Church in American Lutherans are to the left. So be cautious in assuming what we think once you know that we are Lutheran.

And you will always get a hard-line, conservative, Reagan Republican, pro-choice, ELCA Lutheran like me to mess up your curve as well.


I’ve met LDS political candidates of both the Democrat and Republican variety and even heard of the odd Independent and Libertarian. Among our local congregation it seems to be a tad more republican than democrat with a noticible percentage that doesn’t seem to be politically aware or participate.

I’m Quaker, but I think most Quakers are liberal, or so it seems.

Nixon was a… Quaker, wasn’t he?


I’ll look it up-but I believe, at least until the 1980s, Catholics tended to vote predominantly Democratic, starting with FDR.

I mean, Catholics voted in large numbers for FDR…since Catholics tend to be social liberal-at least as far as helping the poor and the needy.

Where could I find stats on this? I don’t know exactly what to search for…

No No No!

I am a rare exception. I will call myself a Pentecostal, more specifically, Assembly of Godian.
ALL of those self identifying as such are fundies, and truly Republican right wingers.
Me, well, I’m a Green.
There must be something wrong with me…or not.:cool: