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