The politics of Christianity : an analysis and comparison of the economic and social views of the Christian right

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dc.contributor.advisor Cranor, John D. en_US Lehman, Thomas E. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial n-us--- en_US 2011-06-03T19:36:51Z 2011-06-03T19:36:51Z 1994 en_US 1994
dc.identifier LD2489.Z72 1994 .L44 en_US
dc.description.abstract Studies have suggested that the Christian Right, composed largely of Protestant fundamentalists, is a political movement characterized by an extreme right-wing (conservative) ideological bias. The general assumption by students of religion and politics has been that the Christian Right reflects a consistently conservative position with regard to both economic and social policy issues. However, minimal quantitative research has been employed to lend substance to such theories. The goal of this study was to employ quantitative research data to determine the political biases and ideology of Protestant fundamentalists on bothChristian Right is indeed conservative on issues policy, but much less so (even somewhat liberal) on economic or social welfare policy.This study was conducted using survey data collected by the National Opinion Research Center, General Social Surveys (NORC). The Protestant respondents were separated from the non-Protestant respondents, and indexes were computed to reflect the composite scores of the Protestant respondents on issues of social policy and social welfare policy. Although the results were somewhat inconclusive with regard to social welfare issues, the findings generally supported the hypothesis: There is a statistically significant positive relationship between social policy conservatism and degree of Protestant fundamentalism, strong enough to be of theoretical importance. Conversely, there is, in some instances, a statistically significant positive relationship between support for social welfare and degree of Protestant fundamentalism. The prevailing theory that Protestant fundamentalists are economic conservatives was shown to be a questionable if not a false theory.The conclusion of the present study was that the Christian Right is acutely aware of and politically motivated by social policy issues, concerned that the fundamentalist's perception of the proper morality is carried out in public policy. The Protestant fundamentalist position on issues of social policy reflects a conservative ideological bias. The economic issues, however, are of much less importance to members of the Christian Right, and perhaps may be unrelated to any type of religious position or religious intensity. Where relationships were found to exist, the Christian Right was shown to be moderate or even liberal, reflecting some degree of support for government-provided social welfare programs, a position at variance with the general conservative political movement. Some speculations as to the dichotomy of the Christian Right as a conservative political movement are offered, and several reasons for this dichotomy between social and economic policy issues are offered in light of the religious beliefs held by Protestant fundamentalists.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Political Science
dc.format.extent iv, 60 leaves ; 28 cm. en_US
dc.source Virtual Press en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Protestants -- Attitudes. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Fundamentalism. en_US
dc.subject.other United States -- Politics and government -- Public opinion. en_US
dc.subject.other United States -- Moral conditions -- Public opinion. en_US
dc.subject.other United States -- Economic conditions -- Public opinion. en_US
dc.title The politics of Christianity : an analysis and comparison of the economic and social views of the Christian right en_US Thesis (M.A.)
dc.identifier.cardcat-url en_US

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  • Master's Theses [5318]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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