Religion, Politics, and Polarization: How Religiopolitical Conflict Is Changing Congress and American Democracy (Hardcover)
Do the religious affiliations of elected officials shape the way they vote on such key issues as abortion, homosexuality, defense spending, taxes, and welfare spending? In Religion, Politics, and Polarization: How Religiopolitical Conflict is Changing Congress and American Democracy, William D'Antonio, Steven A. Tuch and Josiah R. Baker trace the influence of religion and party in the U.S. Congress over time. For almost four decades these key issues have competed for public attention with health care, war, terrorism, and the growing inequity between the incomes of the middle classes and those of corporate America. The authors examine several contemporary issues and trace the increasing polarization in Congress. They examine whether abortion, defense and welfare spending, and taxes are uniquely polarizing or, rather, models of a more general pattern of increasing ideological division in the U.S. Congress. By examining the impact of religion on these key issues the authors effectively address the question of how the various religious denominations have shaped the House and Senate. Throughout the book they draw on key roll call votes, survey data, and extensive background research to argue that the political ideologies of both parties have become grounded in distinctive religious visions of the good society, in turn influencing the voting patterns of elected officials.
William V. D'Antonio is research professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America and a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. He is the co-author or co-editor of fifteen books, includingAmerican Catholics Today and American Catholics in Transition. Steven A. Tuch is professor of sociology and of public policy and public administration at The George Washington University. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Race and Policing in America and The Other African Americans. Josiah R. Baker is an assistant professor of financial economics at Methodist University and an adjunct associate professor of economics and geography at George Mason University. He is the author of Macroeconomics: Theories, Principles, and Issues.