More religious = more conservative

US study shows correlation between religious belief, political affiliation.

UltraOrthodoxJews 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
UltraOrthodoxJews 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Highly religiously observant Jews are more likely than other American Jews to be politically conservative, says part 2 of the US Religious Landscape Survey published this week by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. The findings are consistent with other religious groups, where those who often attend religious services, say that they receive answers to prayers and believe in a strict interpretation of their religion teachings are more likely to be politically conservative than those who are less religious. US Jews have traditionally been left wing, and currently only 21 percent say they are conservative. The majority are either moderate (39%) or liberal (38%). But only a small proportion are highly observant, with about one-sixth of US Jews (less then .03% of the country's total population) identifying themselves as Orthodox. Some 1.7% of Americans are Jewish. The survey suggests a correlation between specific types of religious belief and political affiliation. Those who are less dogmatic by being open to flexible interpretations of their scripture and by believing that there are many routes to eternal life tend to be left wing. Those who emphasize their particular religion as necessary for an afterlife are more likely to be conservative. This is exemplified by the data showing that more than 60% of Mormons are conservative and 54% believe that there is only one way to interpret the teachings of their religion. In contrast, only 12% of US Hindus say they are conservative and 85% believe there is more then one way to interpret the teachings of their religion. Rabbi David Rosen, chairman of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, said, "Because Judaism believes that the righteous of all nations have a portion of the world to come, it is not exclusive and provides a basis for a more tolerant approach." The pollsters questioned 35,500 adults on their religious beliefs from May to August, 2007, with a margin of error at 0.6%.