Despite Supreme Court wins, evangelicals unhappy
Evangelicals want the courts out of social issues, says a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday.

"Evangelical Protestant Republicans are far more likely than other groups to want courts to stay out of controversial social questions, suggesting that GOP criticism of 'activist judges' resonates with the party's core constituency," writes the Post's Charles Lane.

Respondents were asked, "Who do you trust more to deal with same-sex marriage, your state legislature or your state courts?" Almost seven of ten self-identified evangelical Protestant Republicans chose lawmakers, compared with only 45 percent of Americans in general. Asked about abortion, 66 percent of evangelical Protestant Republicans said they trusted state legislatures more than state courts, compared with 44 percent of Americans in general.

"Interviews with individual respondents showed that Republicans who describe themselves as evangelical Protestants object to what they see as the courts' denial of the public's right to make policy on 'moral' issues," Lane wrote.

It's worth noting that the wording in the poll asked those who had identified themselves as Christians, "Would you consider yourself a born-again or evangelical Christian, or not?" (44% said yes, 54% said no. The question was asked of 81% of the poll respondents: 47% had identified as Protestants, 23% as Catholics, 11% as non-Protestant Christians, 4% as non-Christians, and 14% as non-religious.)

The Post-ABC poll stayed on the state level and didn't ask about trustworthiness of federal courts vis a vis Congress. But a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll also released yesterday shows that opinion of the Supreme Court has dropped ...

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Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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