Born Again Christians in the Bible Belt: A Study in Religion, Politics and Ideology


We have investigated the extent to which “born-again” Christians constitute a distinct political subgroup. Our specific research concerns are essentially twofold. First, we have examined the attitudes of born-again Christians compared to those who are not born-again toward clerical involvement in political activity. Second, orientations toward four salient issues have been examined: the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, a balanced federal budget, increased military spending, and the proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortion. Concerning the second set of orientations, the effects of education and age have been examined as well. In general, the findings reveal that born-again Christians do constitute a distinct political subgroup. They are inclined to support religious leaders taking a public stand on political issues, although there are clear limits on what they perceive as legitimate involvement. Political conservatism of born-again Christians is revealed by the fact that they consistently take a more conservative position on contemporary political issues compared to those who are not born-again. The findings also show that, in general, the born-again Christian identity is more important than education or age in the structuring of political orientations.


Political Science

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American Politics Quarterly