Every two yearsCHRISTIANITY TODAYreports the religious aspects of the national elections and publishes a census showing the religious lineup of the new Congress. The following story updates extensive election and campaign coverage in the November 19 and preceding issues. This year’s census (right) was compiled by news assistant Brigid Spillane.
A born-again Southern Baptist deacon and Sunday-school teacher may have won the White House in the recent national election, but a record number of Catholics will be holding forth in Congress next term, according to CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S findings. Catholic representation increased by six for a total of 129 in the Ninety-Fifth Congress, the most in the nation’s history.
Overall, there were no sharp shifts in congressional religious-affiliation listings. Presbyterians continue to take it on the chin, having lost six seats (they lost twelve in 1974). This gives them a total of sixty in the new Congress. The downward trend applies also to other main-line denominational groups. The United Methodists and the United Church of Christ are each down by three, the Episcopalians by two, the Baptists by one. The Lutherans and the Churches of Christ each gained two, however. (Because of the difficulties involved in trying to pinpoint the exact Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran denominations cited in affiliations, these groups have been listed generically in the census.)
In other changes, the Jewish have increased by three, the Reformed Church in America by two, the Latter-Day Saints by one, and the “Christian” or “Protestant” category by four.
Another clergyman was elected to Congress: Republican John Danforth, an ordained Episcopalian who defeated Democrat incumbent Stuart Symington, a fellow Episcopalian, ...1
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