Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Political survey of Unitarian Universalist ministers.
One of the books I picked up at the AAR conference this weekend is Pulpit and Politics: Clergy in American Politics at the Advent of the Millennium, which includes chapters on the political engagement of ministers in 18 different denominations — including Unitarian Universalists. John C. Green of Akron University reports on a spring 2001 survey of 1,011 ministers serving UU congregations; 65.9 percent of the ministers responded. The results?
|Independent, lean Democrat||22%|
|Independent, lean Republican||2%|
Presidential choice in 2000
|George W. Bush||2%|
|Did not vote||1%|
What kinds of political activities do UU ministers consider appropriate?
|Take a stand while preaching on some moral issue||99%|
|Participate in a protest march||97%|
|Contribute money to a candidate, party, or PAC||89%|
|Commit civil disobedience to protest some evil||86%|
|While preaching, take a stand on some political issue||86%|
|Publicly (not preaching) support a political candidate||50%|
What kinds of political activities do UU ministers engage in?
|Urged their congregation to register and vote||66%|
|Contacted a public official about an issue||62%|
|Prayed publicly about an issue||35%|
|Took a stand from the pulpit on some political issue||34%|
|Prayed publicly for political candidates||5%|
I didn't find any surprises in this data, although I'll be very interested to look at how UU ministers compare to ministers in the other "liberal" denominations. It would be very interesting to ask a random sample of UU church members these same questions about ministerial political involvement and see if there's any disconnect between lay and clergy response.
Source: John C. Green, "Unitarian-Universalist Association," Pulpit and Politics: Clergy in American Politics at the Advent of the Millennium, ed. by Corwin E. Smidt (Waco: Baylor Univ. Press, 2004): 273-284.
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 22 November 2005 at 1:28 PM