Tuesday, February 7, 2012

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters are increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America. There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

TEXAS FAITH: Across religious spectrum, voters increasingly identifying themselves as Republican. Why?

Across almost every major religious group, the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady. So what's going on? Why has the number of religious voters identifying themselves as Democrats declined - and as Republicans risen? Why do you think this is happening?

We asked our panel of Texas Faith experts to weigh in. Their responses follow:
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

There are two critical factors in the play to explain the voter shift towards Republicans; unemployment and religion.

Every religious group is clamoring to have their personal religious interests take precedence over the interests of America. In the long run it is not sustainable and does not bode well for America.

There is a positive correlation between the swap among unaffiliated Independents and Democrats. The 4% loss to Democrats comes from the 4% gain to the unaffiliated independents; there is also an identical 4% increase in Republican leaning independents from 39% to 43%. The major contributing factor seems to be the unemployment. Per the department of Labor, the unemployment grew from 6% in July 2008 to 9.2% in July of 2011 and the shift has occurred during the same period. Disenchantment factor seems to be in the play.

While the Republican base has remained even at 28% in the survey period, the loss has occurred in the Democratic Party, moving away towards independents. Which throws a challenge to the Democratic Party that it was a performance based change and the gain will shift back with new and improved results, which is yet to be surveyed.

Not sure, how big a factor unemployment is when you review the new analysis in the same survey that claims, "the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady in every major religious group."

The biggest gain for the Republican leaning registered voters comes from Mormons, Jews and White Catholics respectively. That is 12, 9 and 8 points. Is it easy to draw conclusions?

Is Romney a factor for a 12% gain for the Republicans among Mormons? That is the highest singular gain among all religious groups.

What percent of the 9% Jewish shift towards Republicans is attributable to Democratic President's stance towards Iran? What percentage goes towards his call for the 1967 borders and stopping the settlements?

The White Catholics have the third largest leaning towards Republicans with 8%. Is it the abortion issue or the same sex marriage? We cannot entertain political candidacy as Gingrich and Santorum had not announced their candidacy during the entire survey period, where as Mormons know Romney was going to run.

America was founded on liberty from religious persecution and we should consciously not let a religious ideology dominate the nation, we are the final frontier land of freedom and we should preserve it, unless we have the promised moon colony ready to flee.

Let people have the freedom to choose and not let the government regulate what we eat, drink, wear, believe or who we marry.
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Additional Notes: I am glad to see the spread in party identification – 34% identify themselves as Democrats with an additional 14% independents who lean towards Democrats giving them a 48% political share, where as 28% identify themselves as Republicans with an additional 16% who lean towards Republicans giving them a share of 44% and that leaves an 8% true independents. Where are you in this affiliation game?
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Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on http://www.mikeghouse.net/

1 comment:

  1. Muslims, Jews and Christians Unite
    Rabbi Allen S. Maller

    Muslims and Jews in Holland and in California united in 2011 in opposing two political attacks on their joint religious traditions of circumcision, and their religious ways of killing animals for use as food. Several Christian groups who were concerned that secular and humanistic political values were being used to coerce religious expression joined them.

    In San Francisco anti circumcision forces were seeking to made it illegal to "circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years." Under that law, any person who performed circumcisions would face a misdemeanor charge and have to pay a fine of up to $1,000, or serve a maximum of one year in prison.
    The ban on circumcisions was opposed by a coalition of Jewish and Muslim organizations as well as many Christian groups that support religious rights and toleration.

    In Holland, a bill that would effectively ban the traditional religious way both Muslims and Jews slaughter animals, sponsored by the Party for Animals, was approved in the Dutch lower house, where it was backed by the anti-Islamic Freedom Party, and opposed only by Christian parties that took a stand in defense of religious freedom. In January, 2012 it goes to the upper house of the Dutch parliament, where most observers expect it to become law.
    Positions on religious slaughter vary around the world - in the US, for instance, it is specifically defined as a humane method in the Humane Slaughter Act (1958) - but elsewhere several countries have already restricted or banned slaughtering unstunned animals.

    If the Dutch bill becomes law, Jewish and Muslim leaders say they will fight it in the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that it is a violation of the right to freedom of religion. "If the Party for Animals proposed a law which said there shouldn't be any slaughtering of animals any more, and everyone should be vegetarian, I could understand it better," says Rabbi Jacobs. "But it's a vote against religion."

    Both faiths put great emphasis on animal welfare, and adhere to a one-cut method of slaughter, intended to ensure the animal's rapid death. Under Jewish and Islamic law, animals for slaughter must be healthy and uninjured at the time of death, which rules out driving a bolt into the brain . Both Islam and Judaism stress that diet should not just be about calories. A religious diet is an exercise in spiritual discipline and in God consciousness. We do not eat only to 'fuel up' like a machine. Nor should we eat only to enjoy ourselves.

    Allen Maller retired in 2006 after 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. His web site is: rabbimaller.com



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797



We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.

URL- http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2013/08/planned-muslim-response-to-quran_18.html

Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.