MOUNT VERNON — On Monday, the United States observed the 225th anniversary of the 1787 signing of the Constitution. To mark the day, students, faculty and guests at Mount Vernon Nazarene University heard John C. Green from the University of Akron talk about the upcoming election and the “Faith Factor.”
Following an introduction by professor Christopher Devine, Mount Vernon Nazarene’s professor of political science, Green introduced his topic explaining that religion is undeniably linked to voting behavior. He proceeded to demonstrate the point using voting data from the 2008 election.
He explained that the Constitution created “a very religious environment for politics” through the First Amendment. The first freedoms mentioned in the amendment are religious, that there should be no official religion and that the people are guaranteed freedom of choice.
Green described how religion affects party coalitions. “The diversity of American religion is funneled through the parties,” he explained.
The political coalitions have changed, he said, when once the “generation gap” wielded influence there is a “God gap” (though he noted that he personally doesn’t like the term).
The God gap has been apparent for the last three decades in election exit polls as a divide in religious commitment and participation between those who vote Republican and those who vote Democrat.
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