Author Topic: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress  (Read 791 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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"Many analysts described the November 2010 midterm elections as a sea change, with Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the Senate. But this political overhaul appears to have had little effect on the religious composition of Congress, which is similar to the religious makeup of the previous Congress and of the nation, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life."

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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011, 08:27:41 AM »
Seems to me there are three significant areas of divergence:

1) Not a single congressperson declares themselves unaffiliated (i.e. non-religious, agnostic, or atheist), whereas 16.1% of the US population does. That's a huge difference.

2) There are absolutely no Pentecostals in the congress.

3) There are about three to four times more Jews, Presbyterians, and Episcopals in congress than there are in the general population.

None of these divergences surprise me -- in fact, they fit various stereotypes -- but they are significant differences nonetheless.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 08:28:26 AM by pensateomnia »
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011, 08:55:44 AM »
^ I would add a 4th divergence to the list: Significantly fewer Non-denominational Protestants than what would be expected. (0.4% in Congress vs. 4.5% in the general population).
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011, 09:53:39 AM »
2) There are absolutely no Pentecostals in the congress.

That suprised me a bit. I'm having a stereotype that Pentecostalism is sort of major movement within US. Am I completely mistaken?
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2011, 10:27:40 AM »
1) Not a single congressperson declares themselves unaffiliated (i.e. non-religious, agnostic, or atheist), whereas 16.1% of the US population does. That's a huge difference.

Unless he has changed his mind, at least one of the people who "refused" or chose "other faiths" is actually non-religious/agnostic/atheist. Pete Stark (also see this story) has previously said that he does not believe in God.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 10:28:09 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 11:24:20 AM »
1) Not a single congressperson declares themselves unaffiliated (i.e. non-religious, agnostic, or atheist), whereas 16.1% of the US population does. That's a huge difference.

Unless he has changed his mind, at least one of the people who "refused" or chose "other faiths" is actually non-religious/agnostic/atheist. Pete Stark (also see this story) has previously said that he does not believe in God.
Many non-religious/agnostic/atheist-types are indeed affiliated...with the Unitarian Universalist community. Stark is a UU.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 11:25:24 AM by Jetavan »
If you will, you can become all flame.
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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 11:26:58 AM »
1) Not a single congressperson declares themselves unaffiliated (i.e. non-religious, agnostic, or atheist), whereas 16.1% of the US population does. That's a huge difference.

Unless he has changed his mind, at least one of the people who "refused" or chose "other faiths" is actually non-religious/agnostic/atheist. Pete Stark (also see this story) has previously said that he does not believe in God.
Many non-religious/agnostic/atheist-types are indeed affiliated...with the Unitarian Universalist community. Stark is a UU.

True, that's why I included "other faiths" and didn't assume that he simply refused. I suppose he could have simply said "other" (Protestant), but I figured other faiths was more likely :)

Offline genesisone

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 11:28:09 AM »
2) There are absolutely no Pentecostals in the congress.

That suprised me a bit. I'm having a stereotype that Pentecostalism is sort of major movement within US. Am I completely mistaken?
There are Pentecostals and there are pentecostals. I wonder how many (in particular the latter) labelled themselves as "Unspecified/Other (Protestant)" or "Other Christian".

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 11:28:36 AM »
2) There are absolutely no Pentecostals in the congress.

That suprised me a bit. I'm having a stereotype that Pentecostalism is sort of major movement within US. Am I completely mistaken?
Pentecostalism is a major movement in the US, but not in politics.

However, many Protestants in America are "charismatic", which means that they are deeply influenced by Pentecostalism, but they remain members of their home denominations. For instance, large numbers of Catholics speak in tongues and do faith-healing, typical Pentecostal practices, but those people remain Catholic.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Online ialmisry

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Re: Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 112th Congress
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2011, 11:31:54 AM »
2) There are absolutely no Pentecostals in the congress.

That suprised me a bit. I'm having a stereotype that Pentecostalism is sort of major movement within US. Am I completely mistaken?
Yes.  They are just very vocal.  Sarah Palin is one (though baptised by the Vatican), but she identifies as non-denominational "Bible-believing."

with 11,000+ denominations dividing up 80-588 million (depending on how you define it and who you believe) world wide, not a unified witness.

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