Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
Just before President Obama announces his new gun control policy proposals, including an assault weapons ban and better background checks for gun buyers, Dr. Robert P. Jones illuminates the religious divide on gun control in a column for “Figuring Faith.” Despite the centrality of the “pro-life” ethos for both Catholics and white evangelical Protestants, Dr. Jones writes, the two groups have very different perspectives on gun control:
Approximately 8-in-10 white evangelical Protestants (80 percent) and Catholics (77 percent) say that “pro-life” describes them somewhat or very well, yet Catholics are far more likely to connect their “pro-life” identity with gun control issues. This divide is embedded in three fundamental differences between Catholics and white evangelical Protestants: divergent native strains of “pro-life” theology, contrasting cultural contexts, and conflicting approaches to social problems.
To read the full piece, head to Dr. Jones’ Washington Post blog, “Figuring Faith.”