Warning: Actual Bible Reading Likely To Turn You Into A Liberal, Study Shows

By Randa Morris | 9 December 2015
Addicting Info

Christian researchers have discovered the existence of a book that is so dangerous to conservative ideology, Republicans may soon decide to ban it altogether. Strangely enough, that book is the Christian Bible.

According to a study published in Christianity Today, people who say they read the Christian Bible frequently are far more likely to support liberal policies, when compared to those who read the Bible less often.

The study also found a startling difference in opinion between people who say they read the Bible on their own, apart from any outside influence, and those who participated mostly in “guided reading,” under the direction of church leaders or others.

According to Christianity Today, while most studies have found a strong association with regular church attendance and conservative views, this study was the first to look at how “independent Bible reading” influences political and moral beliefs.

The study found that,

“Unlike some other religious practices, reading the Bible more often has some liberalizing effects—or at least makes the reader more prone to agree with liberals on certain issues. This is true even when accounting for factors such as political beliefs, education level, income level, gender, race, and religious measures (like which religious tradition one affiliates with, and one’s views of biblical literalism).”

Researchers graphed the amount of time people said they read the Christian Bible, apart from any outside influence. They also created a comparative graph to illustrate positions on various political, social and moral issues.

Here are some of the findings, as reported in Christianity Today:

“Support for abolishing the death penalty increased by about 45 percent for each increase on the five-point scale measuring Bible-reading frequency.”

“…the more someone reads the Bible, the more likely he or she is to believe science and religion are compatible. (For each increase on the five-point scale, the odds that they see religion and science as incompatible decrease by 22 percent.)”

“How important is it,” the survey asked, “to actively seek social and economic justice in order to be a good person?” Again, as would be expected, those with more liberal political leanings were more likely to say it’s very or somewhat important. And those who read the Bible more often were more likely to agree. Indeed, they were almost 35 percent more likely to agree… Those who are most engaged in their faith (by directly and frequently reading its source material) are those who are most supportive of social and economic justice.”

“For each increased level of Bible-reading frequency, support for the Patriot Act decreased by about 13 percent.”

On the subject of consumerism, participants were asked if it is important to “consume less goods” in order to be a good person.

“Ask an evangelical who is politically conservative, has some college education, has an average level of income, is a biblical literalist, and does not read the Bible, and you’ll have only a 22 percent chance he or she will say reducing consumption is part of ethical living. Ask the same person, only now they read the Bible, and you’ll have a 44 percent chance they’ll say so.”

As Addicting Info’s Elisabeth Parker wrote here, Jesus was a bleeding heart liberal.

The results of the study seem to indicate that it’s not the Christian Bible that turns people into hateful conservatives, but something else altogether.

The results of another study, also conducted by the Christian research group LifeWay, indicate that the majority of Christians are not getting their religion from the Bible, but from other sources.

The study, conducted among Christian churchgoers, found that only 19 percent of Christian churchgoers say they read the Bible daily. An almost equal number, 18 percent, said they read it “rarely or almost never.” Most respondents, 22 percent, said they read the Bible “once a month” or a few times a month, while only 14 percent said they read it once a week.

All of this goes a long way toward explaining how conservatives can claim to be Christian, yet behave in a manner that is completely contrary to what Jesus taught in the Bible.

They’ve never read the Bible. They rely on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for their religious instruction.

Since actual Bible reading seems to destroy any belief in Republican Jesus, it’s likely many Christians would prefer to walk on hot coals than read the book they profess to believe in.

Frank Schaeffer: How to Stop Being a Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas): God Wrote The Constitution And Created America

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Reading The Bible turned me into a Conservative but I have views where I speak up for Science; I became more Conservative with age and I was a former Liberal. Though I will say that Obama didn't quite do the right thing when it came to ISIS. Too many innocent died and there are those who pray for France and others will raise questions then not be wishy-washy about it or be a total pussy.

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  3. So many problems with this article, it's hard to know where to begin. First of all, there was no study: it was a survey. (Baylor University. 2007. The Baylor Religion Survey, Wave II. Waco, TX: Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion.) There is a huge difference between a survey and a study. I can't find access to the actual survey online, but it seems every writer and blogger mentioning this survey has made the basic mistake of confusing correlation with causation.

    Just because people who read the Bible more frequently also tend to have more liberal values, that does not mean that reading the Bible will "turn you into a liberal". It may be that people with liberal values are more likely to read the Bible on their own, rather than rely only on the teaching and preaching of others. A survey can be useful in revealing correlations, but it is worthless in identifying causation.

      • That’s also not a causation, or even a factual statement. You’ve seen no evidence that there is not a god either, and as such your theory is exactly and only as valid as every other religious belief ever was. None of us can prove any deity, whether part of an active religion, an old and no longer supported religion, or even an entirely fictitious and never actually believed by anybody religion, to be correct or incorrect. You being a loud and annoying troll doesn’t help to make people talk to one another, it doesn’t foster goodwill and help advance the rights of atheists, agnostics, or religions that aren’t the majority in their region. Your active derision of religion and worshippers does nothing but make them hate us, and for what? You can’t even prove your position, so why try to go on the attack in a debate where we’re all better off leaving each other alone? None of us will ever convince the others to give up their beliefs, we should be working on minimizing the frustration and accepting that we can’t control what others think.

  4. zONE STATES, “…So many problems with this article, it’s hard to know where to begin). Then lists one. And it’s an odd one. He complains the research is just a survey, not a study. zONE needs to understand the difference in these two tools before he attempts to invalidate their conclusions. Surveys and studies are actually both research tools. Surveys are one of the most commonly used research tools and can be utilized to collect data and describe naturally occurring phenomena that exist in the real-world. A case study is expensive, a survey is cheap. A case study may involve surveys, physical observations, interviews and documents. A case study uses a small sample size, a survey uses a large sample size. A case study produces qualitative data, a survey produces quantitative data. While a study can be more in depth, a study cannot be used to form generalizations on a population either because of it’s small sample size. It is just a tool. Researches choose a tool according to which tool will study their desired subject best. Perhaps you can see how studying bible reading and attitudes can be better understood through anonymous surveys than physical observations and interviews?
    The research was 2 or more surveys, done by Christian organizations. They were called both surveys and studies by those very organizations, which conducted the studies and attempted to draw conclusions from them.Tell me zONE, how would you study the attitudes of church goers if not by a survey? If these very organizations conducted these studies and drew conclusions, which they published, why is it not proper for another author to use these studies using the original authors conclusions and their own? One doesn’t perform a study without the desire to explain something with that study. Further study attempting to establish causation would be a logical next step, but both these studies are correlating attitudes with methods of studying the bible.
    I understand how you don’t like the conclusions drawn by the very organizations you share worship of a God with. But they are still valuable, and at this time, the best information available. And their conclusions will carry weight until you design and fund research which better explains the phenomenon. Warning, you probably won’t like their results either.

  5. I was ,from the age of 3, afraid and scared of the bible-it portrayed a god who killed children, in some genocidal frenzy as to some "promised land" he held for a certain select tribe-Im a liberal, but I read the bible only to study its origins, myths, and even mysticism-it has had no effect on my being a liberal

    • I think that sounds wise. to approach any book that is revered by many, with a sense of personal humbling and curiosity is a good thing. what I find interesting is that technically the Bible is not finished – so what additions will come?

  6. It's an either/or proposition.

    Actually reading the entire bible as written will either make you become an atheist or prove that you are utterly evil.

  7. All the opposite. readying the bible will teach you homosexuality is punishable, God killed millions because they killed their kids, to allow people in their Gods land, people had to worships God. the lord… Readying the bible has made me more conservative every day.

    • You mis-read the Bible if you think that it told you homosexuality is punishable. The Bible (taken in context 2000+ years ago) is talking about rape. Men would often rape their enemy after a victorious battle in order to further humiliated them. Also consider the Bible says not to kill people (see 10 commandments), so you really can’t stone people to death (see Deuteronomy and Leviticus) … so your take away should have been, “this book is a collection of stories that make no sense.”

    • I note that the article refers to the Christian Bible aka The New Testament, which is a different item from the Jewish Bible. People use the Jewish texts to construct an argument for predictions and prophecies that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus, but the OT had a completely different purpose. Aside from some basic rules set out in the Commandments, the OThas little practical value for Christians. The Gospels and Acts are foundational.

  8. I read my Bible DAILY, sometimes, morning and evening. I am NOT leaning toward liberalism. Sounds like this is written by someone who has never MET, nor knows anything about G-D. This article is complete propaganda! Shameful!

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