Americans Oppose Partisan Politics At Houses Of Worship, Pew Poll Finds

Keep Electioneering Out Of The Sanctuary, Says AU's Lynn

A new nationwide poll reveals strong opposition to church involvement in partisan politics, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Despite aggressive efforts by some religious leaders and politicians to encourage greater political activity by houses of worship, a poll released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that a solid majority of Americans are extremely wary of mixing organized religion with partisan politics.

The survey found that 65 percent of Americans oppose church endorsement of political candidates, 69 percent think it improper for political parties to ask congregations for their membership lists and 64 percent oppose the idea of Catholic bishops denying communion to politicians who fail to support church teachings on abortion and related issues.

"Americans clearly do not want houses of worship to become pawns in the game of partisan politics," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "The message should be clear: keep partisan politics out of the sanctuary.

"This survey is a strong rebuke to those misguided politicians and clergy who want to exploit religion for political purposes," Lynn continued. 

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.