Democrats tend to believe churches are bad for America –Pew

Liberal Democrats have a tendency to view churches as being detrimental to America more than Republicans do, based on a report released by Pew Research Center on July 10.

(REUTERS / Jonathan Alcorn)Worshippers depart a church service at the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in Garden Grove, California, March 18, 2012.

Pew's U.S. Politics & Policy department has found that 36 percent of Democrats say churches have a negative impact on American society, as opposed to only 14 percent of Republicans who say the same thing. That figure, however, lurches up to 44 percent among Liberal Democrats, The Christian Post detailed.

In addition, Pew found that 46 percent of those not affiliated with any religion also believe that churches are bad for the country. The same can be said of the 43 percent of Americans who rarely or never go to church.

Based on Pew's report, 50 percent of Democrats in general believe that churches have a positive impact on America, but that number drops to 40 percent among Liberal Democrats.

"Liberal Democrats are about as likely to say the impact of churches and religious organizations is negative (44%) as they are to say it is positive (40%). By two-to-one (58% to 29%), more conservative and moderate Democrats say churches have a positive than negative effect on the country," Pew said in its report. "Majorities of both conservative Republicans and Republican leaners (75%) and moderate and liberal Republicans (68%) say churches and religious organizations have a positive impact."

The national survey used in the report was conducted among 2,504 adults from June 8 to 18. The margin of error for the poll is 2.3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, a study published by Vanderbilt University researchers in May found that attending church services has health benefits. The research found that middle-aged adults who go to religious services at least once in the previous year had a lower tendency to die prematurely compared to those who did not, America Magazine reported.

In another study conducted among 74,534 women which was published last year, researchers found that those who attended religious services more than once a week had 33 percent lower mortality that those who never participated in church services.