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The Dallas Morning News
Jun. 10–WASHINGTON — Environmental messages preached from the pulpit have yet to take hold in evangelical and Catholic pews, according to a recent survey on religion in public life.
Just 43 percent of evangelical Protestants said they would support strict environmental regulations if such rules would cost jobs or result in higher prices, according to Calvin College’s Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics.
That is down from 52 percent of self-identified evangelicals who said in 2004 that they supported environmental rules regardless of cost.
Likewise, support for environmental regulation among non-Latino Catholics fell from 60 percent in 2004 to 52 percent in 2008.
“Despite efforts by evangelical leaders to try to bring this issue to greater attention … it doesn’t appear to be that successful,” said Corwin Smidt, director of the Henry Institute, based at the private university in Grand Rapids, Mich.
However, Mr. Smidt added that because the survey question on the environment posed it as a trade-off between regulation and jobs, the shift may reflect uneasiness about the economy.
Support for environmental regulation held steady at 61 percent among mainline Protestants, increased slightly among Latino Protestants and increased significantly among black Protestants, jumping to 49 percent in 2008 from 39 percent in 2004.
The poll was conducted in April and May and questioned more than 3,000 people nationwide. It has an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Dallas Morning News

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