I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It is finally official -- Mormons are the most conservative religious group in the United States

recent Gallup findings are not surprising to me. As a 7th generation Utah Mormon, with three advanced degrees in government, I have been aware for some time that Mormons are overwhelmingly conservative and Republican.

I know the Church insists that it is politically neutral and it is. It also insists that we are not encouraged in any way to affiliate ourselves with the Republican Party. We are not. I have always felt that our beliefs naturally lead us there.

In addition, politics is not discussed at Church. Local and central leaders do not pressure us to adopt certain politics or political positions. There is no political or ideological indoctrination at Church or connected with Church. Occasional isolated exceptions emerge but nothing on a large, moderate or small scale. Exceptions are rare.

Republicans embrace limited government, economic freedom, a strong military etc. Democrats seek to normalize same-sex marriage, abortion, limit freedom in our commercial enterprises etc. These views simply are not consistent with the gospel as I understand it.

The only conclusion is that there is something in our religious beliefs that is fundamentally compatible with currently being conservative and Republican. (These labels change meanings over time. There is no point in pointing out that Joseph Smith was a Democrat.)

The Gallup findings also highlight the fact that lapsed Mormons are more likely to be more liberal and less conservative than regular members.

"The data show that these lapsed Mormons are substantially different in ideology from their fellow Mormons who remain active in the church (as defined by attendance at church services). In fact, lapsed Mormons are essentially no different from all other non-Mormons in terms of their basic ideology."
This conservative Mormon phenomenon is not unique to Utah as Gallup points out:

". . . whether a Mormon lives in Utah does not appear to make a significant difference in his or her ideology. The percentage of Mormons living in Utah who are conservative is little different from the conservative percentage among Mormons living elsewhere in the United States."
These findings together with the recent PEW findings make it indisputable that Mormons are conservative and Republican.

Gallup's bottom line and my bottom line are the same:

"Mormons are both the most Republican and the most conservative of any of the major religious groups in the U.S. today."

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