Religious liberals will soon outnumber religious conservatives, according to a new survey. Though you might think that religion and progressivism make strange bedfellows, new data shows that one-in-five Americans identify as religious liberals.
The data comes from a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute. They used a scale that combines theological, economic and social outlooks. While the researchers did say that the number of irreligious Americans is still on the rise, many young, diverse and politically-active Americans conflate progressivism with their religious values.
“Our new research shows a complex religious landscape, with religious conservatives holding an advantage over religious progressives in terms of size and homogeneity,” the PRRI said in a press release.
“However, the percentage of religious conservatives shrinks in each successive generation, with religious progressives outnumbering religious conservatives in the Millennial generation.”
Per the survey, 23 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 33 identified as religious progressives, while 22 percent are nonreligious and 17 percent are religious conservatives. Only 12 percent of individuals between the ages of 66 and 88 identified as religious progressives while 47 percent are religious conservatives.
Religion has traditionally been a conservative hallmark, especially in terms of social issues like abortion and gay marriage. However, this study shows that the future of faith-based politics might lie on the left.
Still, religious progressives are a minority within the Democratic Party. Only 28 percent of Democrats identify as religious progressives. Among Independents, 42 percent identify as religious moderates, a number that is expected to grow as Millennials age.
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