A New Turn for the Religious Right

A New Turn for the Religious Right

For CNN, Ronald Brownstein discussed how recently-elected House Speaker Mike Johnson’s political agenda merges different priorities for conservative Christians with PRRI president and founder, Robert P. Jones. While religious conservatives have long prioritized social issues, in recent years, they have increasingly championed conservative positions on immigration and racial equity. Jones explains how these positions stem from the belief that “God intended America to be a new promised land where European Christians,” which PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey found was supported by more than half of Republican voters and white evangelicals. To better understand how Johnson’s vision of America as a white Christian country is driving the modern Republican party, read Robert P. Jones’ newest Substack post at WhiteTooLong.net.

Mike Johnson Is a Pro-Gun Christian Nationalist. Yes, Be Afraid.

In a new Washington Post opinion column, Kate Cohen examines House Speaker Mike Johnson’s opposition to gun-control legislation, pointing to both gun industry donations as well as his consistent embrace of Christian nationalist positions on issues from abortion and LGBTQ rights to guns. For those who believe the United States is a Christian nation, the right to bear arms is a God-given right, and fundamental to engaging in the righteous fight for the “survival of the truth in our nation.” The 2023 PRRI American Values Survey reflects this, finding that Americans who believe that the country has changed for the worse since the 1950s are more than twice as likely as those who say that it has changed for the better to agree that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence to save the country” (30% vs. 14%).

U.S. Catholics More Motivated by Climate News Than Other Americans

For the National Catholic Reporter, Aleja Hertzler-McCain reports on recent polling from PRRI and Pew on U.S. Catholics’ opinions on climate change. Pew found that compared with U.S. adults, Catholics are more likely to say that recent climate change news made them feel optimistic about addressing the issue, but previous polling shows Catholics’ views on climate vary significantly based on party, race and ethnicity and age. Last month, PRRI found that while 31% of Hispanic Catholics said that climate change is a crisis, only 20% of white Catholics agreed.

Discrimination Against “Voodoo” and Santeria

In a Spotlight Analysis, PRRI Public Fellow Danielle Boaz, Ph.D., shares new research into public perceptions of African diaspora religions from a survey about race, religion, and public safety conducted by members of the 2022-2023 Public Fellows cohort. When asked what religions’ followers are more likely to practice black magic or witchcraft than the average person, nearly two-thirds of the survey’s respondents (64%) selected Voodoo/Vodou and 23% of respondents selected Santeria. By contrast, only 3% selected Judaism or Islam, 5% selected Hinduism, and 6% selected Christianity. Boaz explains that these survey findings are important because — despite new research into the racist origins of these stereotypes — many people continue to associate Africana diaspora religions with black magic or witchcraft, and these prejudices can have violent, even deadly, consequences.

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