Politics and Church Attendance :: Which comes first?

The religious affiliation of candidates (or lack thereof) is at least a minor point of discussion in virtually every election, and pundits regularly pour over data about the “Evangelical vote,” the “Catholic vote,” and even the “nonreligious vote.” Implicit in all of this number-crunching is the idea that when it comes to a American voter’s political opinions, religion matters. But despite all the attention given to the voting patterns of the faithful, the question remains: does where you go to church (or temple, or mosque, or service, etc.) actually dictate your political views?

That is the way that an article at Think Progress starts. I find the question to be thought provoking. I have always been attracted to churches that have certain political views. Social-political issues like abortion have always been a factor in my church attending decisions. And I think that issues like homosexuality drive church attendance for many folks.

These days I think that I am more attracted to churches that do not take black and white positions on political candidates and issues. I feel that the leadership of the church I attend these days fosters an environment that attracts people of differing politics because they present balanced views of social and political issues. They also present a balanced view of these issues in the scriptures. Great to be a part of a church that fosters cooperation instead of polarization.

So what do you think? Does a church's political positions play a role in where you go to church? Or do you feel that the church you attend takes certain positions on political issues because you (and folks like you) attend there?


  1. An exchange with a FB friend:

    I was always pleased to see a mixture of Republican and Democrat bumper stickers int he parking lot of the last church I attended regularly. They did a good job there of not making it about politics.

    Good point! Perhaps bumper stickers are a good gauge of how a church leans politically?

    FYI: You can access my FB page on the menu bar above.

  2. The church I attend has a wide range of both political and theological opinion. We try to concentrate on what we have in common rather than what separates us.

    That said, many denominations issue "statements of faith" that describe what they believe (and often, their prejudices). For example, the Southern Baptist Convention does not allow the participation of churches with women pastors. On denominational and individual church webe pages, you can often see such statements, and they might include the churches' beliefs on homosexuality, abortion and other divisive issues. So, if someone is looking for a church that has particular beliefs, they are more easily found than ever before...

    1. Great feedback Duane. "Statement of Beliefs" can often lead to folks picking a church that most resemble themselves.

    2. Great feedback Duane. "Statement of Beliefs" can often lead to folks picking a church that most resemble themselves.


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