Poll Reveals Christian Views on Capitalism and Other Economic Issues
The serious budget negotiations that recently went on in Washington nearly shut down the government. Negotiations will be even more grueling the next few months as members of Congress dig in and try to arrive at an approved 2012 budget. Against this backdrop, the results of a recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, in partnership with Religion News service, addressing the public’s views on capitalism, wealth inequity, taxes, and the like was published last week.
In this article, I will briefly highlight some of the findings relating to the Christian community. First of all, among Christians in the U.S., only 38% believe capitalism and the free market are consistent with Christian values while 46% believe the two are at odds. Personally, I expected the percentage of Christians who view capitalism and the free market as being consistent with Christian values to be higher. I say that because local churches have tax exempt status, and in the name of separation of church and state, the government reaches very little into the nonprofit operations of local churches. To me, it just seems that this experience with very limited governmental regulation in the nonprofit arena would have favorably influenced the views of a larger portion of the Christian community in terms of capitalism and the free market.
As for wealth inequity, 62% of Americans believe that one of the biggest problems in this country is that increasingly more wealth belongs to a small population. Fifty-five percent of white evangelical Protestants see this as one of the biggest problems in the country. A whopping 75% of Americans with no religious affiliation hold the same view, according to the survey.Continued on the next page