RELIGIOSITY AND POLITICAL TOLERANCE: REASSESING THE RELATIONSHIP

  • Jonathan R. Peterson North Park University

Abstract

Political tolerance ­­­–– the willingness to afford basic civil rights to individuals or groups that one finds disagreeable –– is  fundamental to liberal democracy. For several decades, political scientists believed that widespread religious adherence in the United States threatened political tolerance. Recent research casts doubt on the direct relationship between religiosity and political tolerance. However, this research is based on decades-old data or a sample collected from a single county. My study tests the relationship between religiosity and political tolerance using more recent national survey data. It confirms that, although religiosity is related to dogmatism, no direct relationship exists between religiosity and political tolerance.

Keywords: religion, political tolerance, democratic values, church attendance

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Published
2020-03-30