Here’s an interesting and complicated study by the Public Religion Research Institute looking at religion, politics, and economic views of Americans. It has too much information for me to analyze here, but you are encouraged to give it a read.
I do want to share one quotation that interested me:
Religious progressives and religious conservatives also hold different views about what being a religious person means. Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) religious progressives say being a religious person is mostly about doing the right thing, compared to 16% who say it is about holding the right beliefs. By contrast, a majority (54%) of religious conservatives say being a religious person is primarily about having the right beliefs, compared with less than 4-in-10 (38%) who say it is mostly about doing the right thing.
The numbers are not surprising, but as someone who reads a lot of John Wesley’s writings, I notice that both categories miss what Wesley argued was most important. Indeed, he often wrote that religion was hardly at all about right beliefs or doing the right outward actions. Religion, he said, was about loving the right persons (God and neighbor) and being transformed by that love.
I wonder if the survey had categories for that kind of response.