Pew Research study: Election Day issues are being raised at church

I came to this position without a lot of religion knowledge, a fact I readily admitted from the start in this space. But I came with effort and a willingness to learn.

At right, first time voter Micah Gross, then 18, walks through a gauntlet of candidate representatives at the Manchester Township #5 polling place, Zion Lutheran Church, during the April 2012 primary. (file photo)

One of the repeatedly reassuring things for me is to see national stories on a religion trend, or a faith issue, that I just finished writing about. It always lets me know I was on the right track with my thinking.

I got an email this morning about a new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on the 2012 presidential race.

In it, many churchgoers say their clergy have encouraged them to vote, but fewer say their clergy have discussed the candidates directly or favored one over the other.

Black Protestants are more likely than others to say they are hearing about the candidates at church: Nearly half (45%) say the messages they hear favor a candidate, and every one of those says the message favors Barack Obama.

Well, the timing was perfect. I have a story out today on how local churches are handling the election. Some are active, like the Catholic Church, while others merely encourage their congregants to vote.

Here’s more on the Pew survey:

Regular churchgoers also report hearing about campaign issues from the pulpit. Three-quarters of those who say they attend religious services at least monthly (74%) say their clergy have recently spoken out about hunger and poverty. Roughly one-third say their clergy have spoken out about abortion (37%) and homosexuality (33%). Catholics report having heard about abortion from the pulpit at higher rates than other groups.

The full survey, which also explores campaigns’ outreach efforts and activism, early voting and robo-calls, is available on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press website.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Pew Research study: Election Day issues are being raised at church

  1. Linda Copenheaver says:

    It is actually past time to stop referring to Mormonism as a “cult.” The full name of the church says it all – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, latter day referring to the time in which we live and saints referring to the definition “a child of God.”

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