Survey says?

Concordia University – Wisconsin recently released some results from a survey it’s been working on for several years. The first installments include a look at the political attitudes of LCMS and ELCA clergy and laity. Some really interesting results. Here’s a sample from the ELCA results:

Conservative or Liberal?
In 2006 there was a significant gap between political attitudes of ELCA clergy and laity. Among laity, political attitudes were roughly evenly-split between political liberals and conservatives, with nearly half of all respondents self-identifying as “moderate,” “somewhat liberal,” or “somewhat conservative.” ELCA clergy were predominantly liberal, with not a single respondent in 2006 self-identifying as “extremely conservative.” By 2009, attitudes among ELCA clergy shifted further to the political left: Fewer self-identified as moderates, while an additional 6% self-identified as “liberal” or “extremely liberal.

And here’s some from the LCMS:

Conservative or Liberal?
Unlike the ELCA, there is almost no gap between clergy and laity political self-identification. 77% of LCMS laity in 2006 self-identified as “conservative,” while 80% of LCMS clergy did so in 2009. A majority in both categories self-identify as “conservative,” as opposed to “strongly conservative” or “somewhat conservative.”

Go to the links for more.


Survey says? — 17 Comments

  1. I’m a little confused about the first LCMS graph on gay rights. If I’m reading it correctly it’s saying that 60% of LCMS clergy strongly agree with the statement “Homosexuals should have all the same rights and privileges as other Americans.” Am I reading that wrong? Am I missing something? Anyway, interesting stats.

  2. Appears to me that they flipped the graph just before presenting it, and failed to flip the line graph. The 3D graph is opposite the line graph. In all other graphs it’s simply a different way of presenting the information, the shape of the graph agrees. With the question you identified the line graph is opposite the 3D graph.

    I have submitted a question in to Dr. James C. Burkee asking if the graph is correct.

  3. Ellen — Dr Burkee has gotten back to me and said that the charts will be corrected today. From the header above it, “Over half of LCMS respondents – clergy and laity – either disagree or strongly disagree with the statement” — it’s clear to me that they have mis-labelled the line chart, so it should have strong-disagree on the left and strongly-agree on the right. The 3D chart is simply wrong .. it doesn’t match the data at all.

  4. That 14 percent of the LCMS clergy voted for 0bama in 2008 is a pathetic indication of political cluelessness (not that they necessarily should have voted for Sarah Palin’s running mate, whathisname). Were there that many closet Seminexers from the ’70s?

    BTW, where is a complete list of the questions that were asked in the survey?

  5. Believing that homosexuality-practicing individuals should have the same civil rights as everyone else does not mean one supports homosexual actions. As with all surveys, the vague language may be read in several ways. At face value, how one interprets “rights” is very important.

    IE, The Bill of Rights guarantees the sames rights to us all, regardless of creed, orientation, etc. Noticeably absent from the Bill of Rights is the “right to marriage” and the “right to sodomy”.

  6. Results like these are examples of why I don’t place much confidence in some of George Barna’s surveys, either. It’s not so much whether or not he has extracted a carefully obtained, statistically valid population sample, it’s how he asks his questions that are flawed.

    For example, one of the criteria he tries to establish when conducting an interview is whether or not the subject is a “born again Christian.” In the broad sense, this term is redundant inasmuch as all those who have received faith through water and Word of baptism are Christians. Barna, however, tries to place restrictions on his definition in such a way that it forces people to admit to having (or not having) a “born again experience,” something that is completely different.

    If you’re careful can construct the questions in such a way that you can get whatever you desire.

  7. Carl Vehse – political cluelessness does not always mean theological incompetence, sometimes it can even coexist with the best theological minds, ask Dr. Luther – or better yet ask his Elector.

  8. You would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know that the Democrat party and Obama were/are for abortion and gay rights.

    That’s 180 degrees away from a Christian position.

  9. Its not even 180 degrees, it is completely incompatible. I think that you could make a better arguments against abortion and gay rights than calling people deaf, dumb, and blind because they voted for a particular candidate or party. I did not vote for Obama by the way for the reasons stated and for many other. Yet, I still maintain that a ‘clueless’ choice in politics is not always an automatic connection to poor theology. People vote for candidates and parties for lots of reasons, sometimes without reflection – and that is probably more the issue.

  10. Whatever the reason for their sinful behavior unrepentent Lutherans (clergy or laity) who publicly supported or admitted voting for 0bama or other Democratic Party political candidates need to be counseled through Matthew 18 for their spiritual well-being.

  11. A vote for the Democrats may be sinful, yet a vote for the Republicans can be argued to be just as sinful. Both parties are largely anti-life (abortion or endless war) and anti-responsibility (spending fake money taken from the few and their as-yet unborn children to support abortion and war).

  12. @Steven #11
    Well said.
    It’s pretty easy to pick 1 or 2 issues and use them to deliniate sheep from goats in the two parties; but after looking under the fascade it seems that there are a lot of wolves on hiding out in disguise on both sides of the fence.
    May God have mercy on us all for every life not protected and preserved.

  13. The 30+ year Democratic Party support, legislation, and funding for the genocidal slaughter of unborn Americans is more than sufficient rope to wrap around the necks of the Democratic Party and its leaders.

    Of course there will be those, even in the Lutheran Church, who would look for some redeeming social attributes for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and their leaders.

    In its “Render unti Caesar… and unto God”, the Missouri Synod noted the commonality of evil between the goals of the two parties:

    “While presumably recognizing the risks and dangers of such an approach, the Synod has nevertheless concluded that the question of abortion is addressed so clearly by Scripture, that it is such an extraordinary social problem, and that this problem is so fundamentally tied up with what Scripture says about the God-given duty of the state, that failure to speak and under certain circumstances to act would be tantamount to the failure of the German church under Hitler.”

    If any major fault can be found in the Republican Party platform, it is one of gutless cowardice for not including the demand that the Democratic Party be brought to justice for crimes against humanity and treason.

  14. For all of you alleged “pro-lifers” who think the “Democratic Party [should] be brought to justice for crimes against humanity and treason”:

    How interesting that so many of the anti-Obama/pro-life constituency are also against healthcare reform (with a public option) and other socially-sustaining programs necessary for what? Aha! Life! Since most conservative Republicans dislike spending taxes on these programs, when the budget gets cut in a conservative state, most often it is the children and the disabled who lose. Rarely, does the American churck pick up the slack. This is often why the abortion clinics thrive; after all, it is cheaper to get an abortion than to have and raise a baby.

    I volunteer in a children’s home for abused children, where the minimum cost for a resident is around $170.00 a day. For some kids, the medicines that are needed to stabilize their behavioral and emotional problems run as much as $900 a month. Average stay is 3-6 months. And although this home operates frugally and receives much in the way of financial and in-kind donations, there is never enough. Some days, the food consists of more carbs than fruit, vegetables, or protein. When my husband and I go to visit with the child we mentor, we take fruit, cheese and other nutritious snacks to make up for what they do not have. We give as much of our time and financial support as we can, so they will have more.

    Sadly, many of these children would give up more of their food if it would mean someone would show an interest in them, if someone would volunteer to play a game or share a book. I wonder how God will respond to humanity when he condemns the willful negligence of the lonely, abused, and unwanted child, the child that knows many of his kind refuse to share their wealth and love with him.

    Most American Christians do not want to focus on this when they can talk dramatically about the value of life. This is the kind of of pro-lifer I see writing the above post, someone who wants to conveniently turn the subject to the abortion doctor because it is something that sells well in the pulpit, as if it is the only life issue; such a notion is more political than Biblical; it certainly lacks God’s spirit.

    This is par for what we can expect in America. Many parents are more interested in the fertility clinic than adoption. And while there are many brave parents who will adopt, few families have the support or financial means to adopt the abused child. Again, it is the baby that counts: they get adopted first; after age nine the adoptive child is lucky if he/she can find parents. Being cute and young helps; it gets your picture on an abortion poster and in the profitable adoption agencies. America really is a great capitalist nation: life is so valuable that communities get to pick and pay for what they want and ignore what they don’t.

    Now, my sarcasm here does not mean I support abortion; I certainly understand the spiritual importance of intervening between the baby and the abortionist. Abortion IS murder. But save the drama rama of “crimes against humanity speech” for the soap operas, for this claim does not begin to account for the millions of at-risk children in this world that your kind most usually ignore. To be “selectively” pro-life is not pro-life; it is murder in itself; with your insistence on limiting life to abortion talk, you are intentionally perverting scripture and the natural gift of compassion and giving that God implants in us when he commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

  15. Tilly,

    Did anyone state on this string that they were selectively pro-life and against helping abused children?

    Also, you make a good point but please refrain from using phrases like “your kind.”


  16. Pastor Rossow,

    Usually, no one has to say they are selectively “pro-life” because the language of this tradition speaks to a target theme, abortion. It is the theme that is carried within the message and the message rarely deviates to embrace other life issues, with the rare exception, perhaps, of euthanasia.

    My apologies for the “your kind” label. I very heatedly reacted to what I saw as the poor representation coming from bloggers who fanatically and without thinking about all of the “life issues” condemn Christians who voted for Obama.

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