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Monday, July 11, 2011

Bible Reading and Social Justice

It is almost an axiomatic belief among some that individuals who read the Bible regularly are more likely to embrace socially conservative views. To a certain extent this is true. Frequent Bible readers are more likely to oppose legalized abortion and same-sex marriage.

However, they are also more likely to oppose the death penalty, harsher punishment of criminals, and expanding the government’s authority to fight terrorism. In addition,
  • The likelihood of Christians saying it is important to actively seek social and economic justice to be a good person increased 39 percent with each jump up the ladder of the frequency of reading Scripture, from reading the Bible less than once a year to no more than once a month to about weekly to several times a week or more. 
  • Christian respondents overall were 27 percent more likely to say it is important to consume or use fewer goods to be a good person as they became more frequent Bible readers. 
  • Reading the Bible more often also was linked to improved attitudes toward science. Respondents were 22 percent less likely to view religion and science as incompatible at each step toward more frequent Bible reading. 
You can read more about the study at the Association of Religion Data Archives' "Ahead of the Curve" column ("Give Us Our Daily Passage: Reading Bible Tied to Social Justice Issues").

So much for stereotypes.

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