According to a recent AP poll, "Americans are far more likely to consider religion central to their lives and to support giving clergy a say in public policy than people in nine countries that are close allies.".
In the usual sample size of 1,000 adults in each of 10 countries, "nearly all U.S. respondents said faith was important to them and only 2 percent said they did not believe in God". Two percent. Two.
Almost 40% of US respondents said religious leaders should try to sway policymakers - much higher than in other countries, including Mexico, Italy and Spain. Of course that means slightly more than 60% wanted religious leaders to keep their noses out of government, which is still a clear majority.
Only Mexicans come close to Americans in embracing faith, among the countries polled. But unlike Americans, Mexicans strongly object to clergy lobbying lawmakers, in line with the nation's historical opposition to church influence.That bit about Mexico is interesting: people in the traditionally Catholic countries don't necessarily want the Church to run their government.
"The United States is a much more religious country than other similar countries, looks a lot like what you call developing countries, like Mexico, Iran and Indonesia," said John Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron.
And here's a shocker: the survey found that Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to think clergy should try to influence government decisions in this country. In other news, the sun is hot.
Most of the big news sources carried the results of the survey. The Boston Globe version is here.
Thanks, Kyle. I did Google News to find the poll results from a non-Fox source.