USA today carries a good report on research underway by Baylor University sociologists and the Gallup organization on the religious beliefs of Americans. One finding: the view of God held by a person is a much better predictor of positions on public issues than denominational affiliation. The researchers have grouped the results into 4 basic categories of how God is viewed: "These Four Gods dubbed by researchers Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical or Distant tell more about people's social, moral and political views and personal piety than the familiar categories of Protestant/Catholic/Jew or even red state/blue state." For example, those who see God as Authoritarian are more likely to support conservative Christian positions in politics. Also, different regions of the U.S. tend to have different proportions of views of God. Read Article.

This survey seems to lend support to some observations I made in Part 2 of my series of posts on Religion and Public Policy.