Those who read the Bible frequently become more concerned about poverty, conservation and civil liberties

Frequent Bible Reading Tied to Social Justice, Openness to Science

A new study by Baylor University researcher Aaron Franzen found frequent Bible reading predicted greater support for issues ranging from the compatibility of science and religion to more humane treatment of criminals.

The study, one of the first to examine the social consequences of reading Scripture, reveals the effects of Bible reading appear to transcend conservative-liberal boundaries.

. . . In many cases, Franzen found frequency of Bible reading was one of the most powerful predictors of attitudes on moral and political issues.  Consider some of the findings:

  • The likelihood of Christians saying it is important to actively seek social and economic justice to be a good person increased 39 percent with each jump up the ladder of the frequency of reading Scripture, from reading the Bible less than once a year to no more than once a month to about weekly to several times a week or more.
  • Christian respondents overall were 27 percent more likely to say it is important to consume or use fewer goods to be a good person as they became more frequent Bible readers.
  • Reading the Bible more often also was linked to improved attitudes toward science.  Respondents were 22 percent less likely to view religion and science as incompatible at each step toward more frequent Bible reading.
  • The issues seemed to matter more than conservative-liberal tags.  In the case of another major public policy debate, same-sex unions, nearly half of respondents who read the Bible less than once a year said homosexuals should be allowed to marry, while only 6 percent of people who read the Bible several times a week or more approved of such marriages.

Among other issues, more frequent Bible readers also were more likely to oppose legalized abortion, the death penalty, harsher punishment of criminals and expanding the federal government’s authority to fight terrorism.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Biblical Studies, Politics, World Events, Secularism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.