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Too Much Religious Talk in Politics, More Voters Say

38 percent believe there's too much expression of religious faith by politicians.


A growing number of Americans think there is too much religious talk from political leaders, a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life has found.

Thirty-eight percent of Americas told Pew that there has been “too much” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders, MSNBC reported. That’s the highest percentage of people who are over it since the Pew Research Center began asking the question more than ten years ago. In 2001, just 12 percent of Americans complained to Pew that politicians were talking too much about faith, Reuters reported.

Pew found 54 percent of Americans want churches and other houses of worship to keep out of politics, MSNBC reported. In 2006, just 46 percent believed churches should leave politics alone.

A notable 24 percent of Republicans said political leaders are talking about religion too much, Reuters reported. However, views on mixing religion and politics varied according to the candidates the poll respondents were supporting in the 2012 presidential election, MSNBC reported.

According to MSNBC:

Fifty-seven percent of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who favor Mitt Romney (a Mormon) for the presidential nomination say churches should keep out of political matters. By contrast, 60 percent of GOP voters who support Rick Santorum (a devout Catholic) say that churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political questions.

"Religious leaders ought to be worried," Peter Steinfels, co-director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, told Reuters. "We're seeing Americans becoming more skeptical" that religion has a place in politics.

Pew researchers surveyed 1,503 adults in early March for the poll.