A shocking new poll finds Americans are growing more anti-gay and want even more religion infused into politics.
Six years into the Obama presidency, it looked like Americans were finally growing to embrace their LGBT friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Support for same-sex marriage was at an all-time high and the GOP and religious right had practically embarrassed themselves into near-obscurity.
Or so we thought.
A new and extensive Pew poll reveals an America growing more to the right than to the left, fearing religion is losing its hold on the country -- and wanting that hold back.
Today, 50 percent of Americans now say they believe homosexuality is a sin, up five points -- more than a 10 percent increase -- from just one year ago.
And support for same-sex marriage dropped five points, from 54 percent to 49 percent.
Americans are spilt on whether businesses that provide wedding services -- caterers, florists, and bakers -- should have to treat their LGBT customers the same as their heterosexual customers. 47 percent say they believe those businesses should be able to refuse to perform any service for same-sex couples, while 49 percent believe they should have to treat every one equally.
And Pew finds Americans want more -- not less -- religion in politics.
Their new poll finds a four-point increase "in the share of Americans saying there has been 'too little' expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders."
Currently, 41% say there has been too little religious talk from political leaders, while 30% say there has been too much and 23% say there has been about the right amount of religious speech from politicians. During the last midterm campaign, 37% said there had been too little religious talk, 29% said "too much" and 24% said there had been about the right amount.
59 percent of Americans want their Congressmen to have "strong religious beliefs."
And there's a growing call to allow churches to endorse candidates -- which is currently illegal, albeit never prosecuted.
"The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%)," Pew reports.
The share who say there has been "too little" expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%). And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics.
More than seven out of every ten Americans "now say that religion is losing influence in American life." And they're not happy about it.
56 percent of Americans call this perception that religion is losing its grip on the nation a "bad thing," and just 12 percent see it as positive.
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