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Will Reading the Bible Turn You…Liberal?

A study by Baylor Religion asked Americans how often they read the Bible on their own, then correlated that frequency with a number of political statements. Although many self-proclaimed religious people are also politically conservative, the Baylor study showed that the more often people read the Bible, the more “liberal” their views on a number of issues, including criminal justice, science, and social and economic justice. An article in Christianity Today this week by Aaron B. Franzen pointed out that frequent Bible readers tend to disagree with the statement, “The government should punish criminals more harshly,” believe that science and religion are compatible, and say that it is an important value to seek social and economic justice. Franzen said a possible explanation for this could be that people have expectations of what the Bible says but are often surprised by actually reading it. The article also quoted a recent poll by LifeWay Research, which says nearly 90 percent of American homes have at least one Bible, and the average home has four.

How does reading the Bible affect your political leanings? How should it affect them? Offer your comments below.

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Toni Ridgaway is a content editor for the Outreach Web Network, including churchleaders.com and SermonCentral.com.