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For Goodness' Sake: Why So Many Want Religion to Play a Greater Role in American Life

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Abstract:

Americans equate religious faith with personal morality, and view religion as one of the few available antidotes to a decline in civic morality. But while many believe the country has gone too far in removing religion from public life, there is a strong ethic of tolerance, and few would use religion as a guide in choosing elected officials or deciding public policy. Jews and the nonreligious, however, are much less comfortable with religion in the public sphere, while evangelical Christians are far more likely to believe that devout politicians would make better decisions.