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BULLETIN

The questions at Huffington Post about "Quran is not for Muslims" will be answered on Monday - after I can get all the legitimatize questions.

Mike Ghouse

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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