Christian researchers have discovered the existence of a book that is so dangerous to conservative ideology, Republicans may soon decide to ban it altogether. Strangely enough, that book is the Christian Bible.
According to a study published in Christianity Today, people who say they read the Christian Bible frequently are far more likely to support liberal policies, when compared to those who read the Bible less often.
The study also found a startling difference in opinion between people who say they read the Bible on their own, apart from any outside influence, and those who participated mostly in “guided reading,” under the direction of church leaders or others.
According to Christianity Today, while most studies have found a strong association with regular church attendance and conservative views, this study was the first to look at how “independent Bible reading” influences political and moral beliefs.
The study found that,
“Unlike some other religious practices, reading the Bible more often has some liberalizing effects—or at least makes the reader more prone to agree with liberals on certain issues. This is true even when accounting for factors such as political beliefs, education level, income level, gender, race, and religious measures (like which religious tradition one affiliates with, and one’s views of biblical literalism).”
Researchers graphed the amount of time people said they read the Christian Bible, apart from any outside influence. They also created a comparative graph to illustrate positions on various political, social and moral issues.
Here are some of the findings, as reported in Christianity Today:
“Support for abolishing the death penalty increased by about 45 percent for each increase on the five-point scale measuring Bible-reading frequency.”
“…the more someone reads the Bible, the more likely he or she is to believe science and religion are compatible. (For each increase on the five-point scale, the odds that they see religion and science as incompatible decrease by 22 percent.)”
“How important is it,” the survey asked, “to actively seek social and economic justice in order to be a good person?” Again, as would be expected, those with more liberal political leanings were more likely to say it’s very or somewhat important. And those who read the Bible more often were more likely to agree. Indeed, they were almost 35 percent more likely to agree… Those who are most engaged in their faith (by directly and frequently reading its source material) are those who are most supportive of social and economic justice. “
“For each increased level of Bible-reading frequency, support for the Patriot Act decreased by about 13 percent.”
On the subject of consumerism, participants were asked if it is important to “consume less goods” in order to be a good person.
“Ask an evangelical who is politically conservative, has some college education, has an average level of income, is a biblical literalist, and does not read the Bible, and you’ll have only a 22 percent chance he or she will say reducing consumption is part of ethical living. Ask the same person, only now they read the Bible, and you’ll have a 44 percent chance they’ll say so.”
As Addicting Info’s Elisabeth Parker wrote here, Jesus was a bleeding heart liberal.
The results of the study seem to indicate that it’s not the Christian Bible that turns people into hateful conservatives, but something else altogether.
The results of another study, also conducted by the Christian research group LifeWay, indicate that the majority of Christians are not getting their religion from the Bible, but from other sources.
The study, conducted among Christian churchgoers, found that only 19 percent of Christian churchgoers say they read the Bible daily. An almost equal number, 18 percent, said they read it “rarely or almost never.” Most respondents, 22 percent, said they read the Bible “once a month” or a few times a month, while only 14 percent said they read it once a week.
All of this goes a long way toward explaining how conservatives can claim to be Christian, yet behave in a manner that is completely contrary to what Jesus taught in the Bible.
They’ve never read the Bible. They rely on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for their religious instruction.
Since actual Bible reading seems to destroy any belief in Republican Jesus, it’s likely many Christians would prefer to walk on hot coals than read the book they profess to believe in.
*eatured image credit via FreeFoto.com