This was an interesting find today. Kevin Drum, over at his blog on Mother Jones, offers us this graph, adapted from a post on a website called Secular Right, showing the frequency of prayer plotted against strength of partisanship:
The data is from the General Social Survey. Apparently, strong political partisans also tend to pray a lot. Weak partisans and independents, not so much. The effect is roughly the same if you confine the analysis to whites only.
Why? Is it just a reflection that some people are strong believers and others aren’t, and this temperamental cast applies to everything they believe in? Or is it something else? Speculate away!
Its not directly related to this point, but its been frequently reported that there is a strong correlation between “weekly church goers” and republican affiliation, but I’ve long suspected (and have seen some evidence for the notion that) if one looked at “not-quite-weekly church goers” the numbers even out much more. The data that form the basis of this graph seem to bear out the notion that its not right to correlate faith with a particular partisan affiliation. But what does it mean that those with comparitively weaker partisan affiliation seem to report praying less?
I’m not sure…