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Friday, August 31, 2007

What does Connecticut believe?

Apparently we're not in Kansas any more:

It's not that people in the state aren't religious - 62 percent said religion was an "extremely important" or "very important" part of their lives.

But even the state's most devout residents draw a clear line between religion and politics: 51 percent of those who said religion was "extremely important" to them said religious leaders should stay clear of politics.

"One of the things that make Connecticut distinct is that even the most religious residents believe that religious leaders shouldn't get involved in politics," said Monika McDermott, research director of the center and an assistant professor of political science at UConn....

The survey provides further evidence of just how different Connecticut's political culture is from that of the bulk of the nation. A Newsweek poll of 1,004 Americans conducted in March found that only 32 percent of the respondents said religion has too much influence on public policy - and 31 percent believe it has too little influence. Only 17 percent of Connecticut respondents said religion has too little sway.

The results don't surprise David A. Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research at Hartford Seminary. Though evangelical Christians are the dominant voice of religion in American politics these days, their views are sharply out of step in a socially liberal state such as Connecticut, he said.

"Here in the Northeast, we're blue states," he said. "The perception of religion in politics is that it's this conservative, reactionary evangelical Christian movement. ... That's not our religion."

I hadn't noticed! See more here at The Courant.

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