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Question: Protestants and Catholics: Who are more right-wing (in the US) on average?
Protestants   -31 (93.9%)
Catholics   -2 (6.1%)
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Total Voters: 33

Author Topic: Protestants and Catholics: Who are more right-wing (in the US) on average?  (Read 1478 times)
They call me PR
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« on: May 21, 2012, 10:41:40 am »
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I thought it would be fairly obvious that Protestants in the US are more right-wing on average than Catholics. Even not taking into account evangelical Protestants (who are like 77% Republican), mainline Protestants are something like 55% Republican.

Compare that to Catholics, most of whom don't listen to the Church hierarchy anyway and the majority of whom, I'm pretty sure, vote Democratic (especially considering the Hispanic population).

Like I said, I think it's pretty obvious who's more right-wing on average, but I guess some people disagree.
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 12:27:46 pm »
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This is kind of a pointless comparison with so much variation within the Protestant groups and nationally. In Minnesota the exit polls both showed Obama better amongst Protestants marginally and far better amongst mainline Protestants.

Ultimately though even though Harry once basically argued I should convert to Catholicism based on this on AIM the difference is that the Catholic church is all ran by one hierarchy while the Protestant ones aren't, so they can't be treated as a unified entity. And even if many people who identify as Catholic don't listen to the Vatican, plenty of people wouldn't be comfortable identifying as such as long as it's still running things. So renouncing Catholicism and converting to some Protestant church (like tons of people I know have) is hardly a "right wing act".
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 04:44:03 pm »
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This probably belongs in the demographics section, no?

There are tens of thousands of Protestant denom. so there is so much variance. However, it looks to me like the growth has been on the more conservative branches. Many of the more staid and liberal branches are wilting.
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They call me PR
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 07:21:03 pm »
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This is kind of a pointless comparison with so much variation within the Protestant groups and nationally. In Minnesota the exit polls both showed Obama better amongst Protestants marginally and far better amongst mainline Protestants.

Ultimately though even though Harry once basically argued I should convert to Catholicism based on this on AIM the difference is that the Catholic church is all ran by one hierarchy while the Protestant ones aren't, so they can't be treated as a unified entity. And even if many people who identify as Catholic don't listen to the Vatican, plenty of people wouldn't be comfortable identifying as such as long as it's still running things. So renouncing Catholicism and converting to some Protestant church (like tons of people I know have) is hardly a "right wing act".

Minnesota =/= the United States. Are you familiar with the concept of aggregates?

Also, it is a right wing act if the Protestant church you're converting to is in the Southern Baptist Convention, the WELS, the Assemblies of God, or any number of non-denominational fundamentalist churches. And those are the Protestant churches that are growing the fastest.

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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 07:41:38 pm »
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This is kind of a pointless comparison with so much variation within the Protestant groups and nationally. In Minnesota the exit polls both showed Obama better amongst Protestants marginally and far better amongst mainline Protestants.

Ultimately though even though Harry once basically argued I should convert to Catholicism based on this on AIM the difference is that the Catholic church is all ran by one hierarchy while the Protestant ones aren't, so they can't be treated as a unified entity. And even if many people who identify as Catholic don't listen to the Vatican, plenty of people wouldn't be comfortable identifying as such as long as it's still running things. So renouncing Catholicism and converting to some Protestant church (like tons of people I know have) is hardly a "right wing act".

Minnesota =/= the United States. Are you familiar with the concept of aggregates?

Also, it is a right wing act if the Protestant church you're converting to is in the Southern Baptist Convention, the WELS, the Assemblies of God, or any number of non-denominational fundamentalist churches. And those are the Protestant churches that are growing the fastest.

I don't know anyone who converted to any of those churches. It's a case by case situation and any blanket statements in regards to this type of thing are quite stupid.

And of course that statement is factually incorrect. The SBC had a virtually negligible gain in the past 10 years and the WELS actually lost members per the last ARDA Census: http://www.thearda.com/rcms2010/rcms2010.asp?U=99&T=US&S=Name&Y=2000&CH=ON

My mom converted to the ELCA (or rather one of the predecessors, I actually don't know which one) because she didn't want to get married in a Catholic church or raise any kids in a church she had some serious issues and disagreements with, so she just got married in the my dad's church and that's what me and my brothers were raised in. What's the problem?
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2012, 01:04:42 am »
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BRTD, you are doing that thing again where you extrapolate overall truth from your personal life.

Despite your experience, the fastest growing churches are of the mega variety. Many of them are non dom and do not align with any particular body but the vast majority are pretty conservative.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2012, 01:17:15 am »
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While averages are meaningless because of the diversity of both groups in this country, if we are employing averages Protestants are almost certainly noticeably to the right of Catholics.
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 01:31:33 am »
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BRTD, you are doing that thing again where you extrapolate overall truth from your personal life.

Despite your experience, the fastest growing churches are of the mega variety. Many of them are non dom and do not align with any particular body but the vast majority are pretty conservative.

True. But my point is moreso that there is so much diversity and individual incidents that any blanket statement is pointless. Like you can't just say all of your state is liberal (or even NYC) based on overall voting and ignore the tons of conservative rural counties and even enclaves in the city or that all of Texas is conservative and pretend that Austin doesn't exist.

Too be honest though I just think a lot of Catholics (and yes this is from general impression and biased accounts from family members, I don't deny that) have a tough time respecting other peoples' choices and this leads to a real beef. For example I recall bringing up in IRC to oakvale that yes there is a Vineyard in Dublin and in Belfast too and thus this does exist over there, and then considered the scenario of someone from a Catholic family in a Sinn Fein stronghold neighborhood who grows up and goes to the Belfast Vineyard and later ends up baptized in it like I was here. Would their family be supportive like mine and not upset about it? I mean I'll admit I could be wrong but if family gave my mom crap in Minnesota...(yes 30 years ago and yes olds who are now dead admittedly)

Oh yeah we also discussed how the Belfast Vineyard people voted (I guessed Alliance).
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 04:00:39 am »
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The thing is, your scenario wouldn't actually happen.
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 10:05:25 am »
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The current vote is 16-1 Protestant-Catholic.

Gee, I wonder who the one vote could be?
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 11:39:39 am »
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The thing is, your scenario wouldn't actually happen.

Now yeah I'll admit I'm not as well versed in that area as others, but the idea the described church has NO ONE from a Catholic background seems pretty far fetched considering how diverse of backgrounds they consist of here. So for a more realistic one say it happened while studying abroad for a year in the US, baptizing people raised Catholic here certainly isn't uncommon.

The current vote is 16-1 Protestant-Catholic.

Gee, I wonder who the one vote could be?

Not I, who did not vote.
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2012, 12:20:03 pm »
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The thing is, your scenario wouldn't actually happen.

Now yeah I'll admit I'm not as well versed in that area as others, but the idea the described church has NO ONE from a Catholic background seems pretty far fetched considering how diverse of backgrounds they consist of here. So for a more realistic one say it happened while studying abroad for a year in the US, baptizing people raised Catholic here certainly isn't uncommon.

BRTD, it isn't all that common here either. Keep in mind you are the 0.1%.
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 12:22:43 pm »
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The thing is, your scenario wouldn't actually happen.

Now yeah I'll admit I'm not as well versed in that area as others, but the idea the described church has NO ONE from a Catholic background seems pretty far fetched considering how diverse of backgrounds they consist of here. So for a more realistic one say it happened while studying abroad for a year in the US, baptizing people raised Catholic here certainly isn't uncommon.

BRTD, it isn't all that common here either. Keep in mind you are the 0.1%.

I'm talking about someone raised Catholic joining another church in general.
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 01:30:05 pm »
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Both Protestants and Catholics in the US are extremely diverse groups (and, added together, something like 80% of the US population is at least nominally in one of those two groups, and it goes higher if you're willing to count Mormons as Protestants).

The thing that really confuses the issue is that "votes Democratic" /= "is liberal" and "votes Republican" /= "is conservative."  So I'd like to clarify which of those two points you mean.
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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 01:51:06 pm »
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Both Protestants and Catholics in the US are extremely diverse groups (and, added together, something like 80% of the US population is at least nominally in one of those two groups, and it goes higher if you're willing to count Mormons as Protestants).

The thing that really confuses the issue is that "votes Democratic" /= "is liberal" and "votes Republican" /= "is conservative."  So I'd like to clarify which of those two points you mean.

Well, my OP was mainly me just trolling a certain member here, to be honest.
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 01:52:32 pm »
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The irony of this question is the fact that in Germany (and in the whole of Europe) the Catholics are way more conservative than the Protestants.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 02:02:43 pm »
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Anyway, it's a moot point because religion is so tied to specific cultural contexts. For example, yes, in Europe Catholics tend to be more conservative than Protestants (but of course, the term "conservative" means something different in Europe than in the US!)

My point was, no matter how liberal or progressive your own American Protestant church is, it's still generally the exception to the rule. It'd be like saying, "It's pointless to try to compare Hispanic voting population with white non-Hispanic voting population because there's so much variation within those groups." Well yes, Captain Obvious, but that doesn't change the fact that, on average, a white non-Hispanic is going to be more likely to vote Republican than a person of Hispanic descent.
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2012, 03:03:59 pm »
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Anyway, it's a moot point because religion is so tied to specific cultural contexts. For example, yes, in Europe Catholics tend to be more conservative than Protestants (but of course, the term "conservative" means something different in Europe than in the US!)

My point was, no matter how liberal or progressive your own American Protestant church is, it's still generally the exception to the rule. It'd be like saying, "It's pointless to try to compare Hispanic voting population with white non-Hispanic voting population because there's so much variation within those groups." Well yes, Captain Obvious, but that doesn't change the fact that, on average, a white non-Hispanic is going to be more likely to vote Republican than a person of Hispanic descent.

Hear hear!

Also, if I may be so bold I find it interesting how at times BRTD's mind seems to have the same mechanisms in place as that of an old era segregationist racist or white supremacist.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2012, 08:34:28 pm »
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I would say Protestants because of voting pattern history and how many aspects of Protestantism developed into Capitalistic and Representative Democracy ideals, but I know there's a huge right-wing Catholic voting bloc, mainly on the issue on abortion and gay rights of which both Catholics and Protestants have in common.
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2012, 08:07:26 am »
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Anyway, it's a moot point because religion is so tied to specific cultural contexts. For example, yes, in Europe Catholics tend to be more conservative than Protestants (but of course, the term "conservative" means something different in Europe than in the US!)

Itís always something that intrigues me. I think it often relates to whether Catholicism is the Ďstateí or majority religion, what form the opposing Protestantism is (Lutheran, Presbyterian etc) and what social status or access they have in their respective countries. In Scotland most Catholics are of Irish stock, with a number of pre 2004 wave Poles and Italians. They are economically left wing and have been since working Catholics were enfranchised and this allegiance continues even in families that have worked upwards into the middle class. Socially, Catholics have held more liberal positions on social/moral issues since recording with the SSA/BSA began in 1980. In Scotland they are the minority, discriminated through law and practice since the 1850ís until really the last twenty years or so. The opposing force has always been Presbyterianism which has always been more socially conservative.

In Northern Ireland, the Life and Times Survey asked people to place themselves on a Left Right scale (with 1 being left). While most people clustered around 5, Catholics had the most positioned between 1-4 and the least between 6-9. The nationalist parties hold very favourable positions on gay rights which is to be expected when these parties have concerned themselves with general equality issues. On the question as to whether gays should have the right to marry (asked in 2005) 47% of Catholics agreed compared to just 22% of Protestants with 59% of those with no religion agreeing. (Strongly Disagree was 12% v 33% respectively) 77% of Catholics in 2010 would accept Muslims as neighbours compared to 58% of Protestants.
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« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2012, 01:11:52 am »
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FWIW in regards to which churches are gaining and losing members, I remember a Pew study that showed that conversion between evangelical and mainline churches was basically a wash with each canceling each other out, in fact IIRC mainline actually had a small but virtually negligible greater rate of inflow. And even though ex-Catholics were almost twice as likely to convert to evangelicalism, the difference was only something like 1% amongst the total population. What really led to their growth was that they had a much higher birthrate than mainline Protestants and was about equal with Catholics, but Catholics had a worse retention rate, and a far worse rate of incoming conversions from both groups of Protestants. I think it was something like one convert per every 8 people leaving.

There was however one bright spot for the Catholic church: Immigration brought them a lot more members. But even this has started to taper off in the last ARDA survey since their retention rate has gotten even worse.

Rather than simply the voting patterns of Catholics vs. Protestants I'm more interested in the percentages of converts, like how Catholics turned evangelical and Catholics turned mainline voted, or conversions from evangelical to mainline and vice-versa. Might be a good idea for the omnibus thread in 2012...
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