A Look at Religious Voters in the 2008 Election
Two experts examine the role that religion played in the 2008 presidential election and discuss implications for the future.
GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats
The Democrats’ image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party’s politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
Faith-Based Programs Still Popular
Faith-based initiatives remain popular eight years after President Bush unveiled his plan, but church-state concerns remain and not all religions garner high support for receiving funds. Also, 9% of Americans say they recently have turned to religious groups to help make ends meet.
Health Care: Politics in the Pews
Many religious organizations have taken on the look of political campaigns, as advocates for and against health care reform preach their politics.
Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
A new report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines President Obama’s faith-based advisory council, including descriptions of their goals and profiles of members.
Obama’s Favorite Theologian? A Short Course on Reinhold Niebuhr
Journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2009 for the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life. Wilfred McClay, a historian specializing in American intellectual history, offered an overview of Reinhold Niebuhr’s unique form of progressive Christianity.
Catholics, Obama and Notre Dame
Most Catholics aware of the controversy support the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree at its May 17 commencement, even though he supports abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research. But a new poll also finds a deep division on this issue between the most observant Catholics and those who are less observant
Religion in South Africa 15 Years After the End of Apartheid
Data from a 10-country survey of Pentecostals in 2006 provide estimates of the religious affiliation of South Africa’s urban population.
The Political Obligations of Catholics
The Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput argues that Catholics should take an active, vocal and morally consistent role in public debates, particularly on issues such as abortion, the death penalty and other matters they consider central to social justice.
Religion in the News: 2008
Religion reporting in 2008 clustered around big events such as the pope’s visit and stories tended to fade quickly from the headlines. Coverage gravitated toward controversies such as Obama’s relationship with Jeremiah Wright and clergy sex-abuse scandals.