Many Americans Believe God Uniquely Blessed America & U.S. Should Set Christian Example for World

October 24, 2008 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

UN-foundation.jpgMost Americans strongly believe that God has uniquely blessed America,
and a similar majority believe that the United States should set the
example as a Christian nation to the rest of the world, a survey,
released Wednesday, found.

Sixty-one percent agree that America is a nation specially blessed
by God, and 59 percent believe the United States should be a model
Christian nation to the world, according to a poll conducted by
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc. for the PBS news program
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and the United Nations Foundation.

Support for the idea that America is uniquely blessed by God
was highest among people who attend religious services weekly (80
percent), with 86 percent of evangelical Christians sharing this
belief. In comparison, less than half (48 percent) of those who attend
religious services less regularly held the same view.

The nationwide survey of 1,400 adults, including an oversample
of 400 evangelical Christians aged 18-29, was conducted to find how
religion shapes people’s view of America’s role in the world and its
foreign policy.

People who strongly believe that America is blessed by God and
should set a strong Christian example are also more likely to say that
the United States is morally obligated to play a significant role in
world affairs.

Overall, most Americans also believe the United States has a
responsibility to be very engaged (24 percent) or moderately involved
(70 percent) on the global stage. However, most Americans believe (67
percent) the United States’ relation with the rest of the world is on
the wrong track.

“Americans remain very interventionist in their views about
America’s role in the world and want the U.S. to take an activist role
on the world stage,” according to University of Oklahoma professor
Allen Hertzke, a visiting scholar at the Pew Forum on Religion and
Public Life, in an interview with Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

But he added, “They want us to be smart about it.”

In terms of foreign policy priorities, there was not much of a
difference between what the general American public and what white
evangelicals consider most important issues. They both agree that
controlling nuclear weapons around the world and fighting global
terrorism are the two top agendas for Washington.

There were also no significant differences between the two
groups on other issues such as fighting global disease, preventing
genocide in countries like Sudan, improving the standard of living in
less developed nations, and promoting democracy in other nations.

What the general American public and white evangelicals most
sharply contrast on in terms of foreign policy priorities is supporting
Israel – 65 percent of white evangelicals consider this extremely or
very important compared to 46 percent of the general American public;
promoting religious freedom in other nations (67 percent white
evangelicals vs. 53 percent); combating global warming (43 percent vs.
59 percent); and providing women with reproductive healthcare (53
percent vs. 60 percent).

Differences can be explained by religious views held by
evangelical Christians, who largely see Israel as the birthplace of
Christianity and link abortion to reproductive healthcare.

In addition to examining faith groups as a whole, the survey also looked in particular at young white evangelicals.

Results show that white evangelicals in the age bracket of 18-29 are
as solidly pro-life on the abortion issue as older evangelicals. But
they are more liberal when it comes to granting some form of legal
recognition for same-sex couples, whether that be civil unions or
marriage.

A majority (58 percent) of younger white evangelicals support
giving legal recognition to homosexual couples, while older
evangelicals are strongly opposed to the idea.

Also, compared to white evangelicals overall, a smaller
majority of younger white evangelicals showed support for Republican
presidential candidate John McCain,
with 62 percent of younger white evangelicals planning to vote for him.
Seventy-one percent of white evangelicals overall plan to vote for
McCain.

“We found that young evangelicals are indeed less conservative
than older evangelicals on a whole host of very interesting issues,”
said Kim Lawton, managing editor of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly at
a press conference Wednesday.

“But this is not a group of flaming liberals – at least not yet,” she joked.

The survey was conducted Sept. 4-21, 2008, with a margin of
error of +/-3.1 percent for the total survey sample, +/- 4.1 percent
for white evangelical Christians, and +/- 5.5 percent for white
evangelical Christians ages 18-29.

Source: Christian Post

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Entry filed under: Christian, National. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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