Less than half of U.S. evangelicals said they have spoken out against people from their own political party when they say or do something they consider unacceptable, according to a LifeWay Research report published Sept. 26.
The survey assessed the views of U.S. evangelicals – both self-identified and those adhering to evangelical beliefs – on matters of faith and politics.
“To be classified as an evangelical by belief, respondents must strongly agree: the Bible is the highest authority for what I believe, it is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin, and only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation,” the report explained.
Respondents tended to eschew overtly partisan politics that demonized the other party.
Around 60% said they believe the motives of persons from other parties are good. Roughly two-thirds said “insulting personal remarks” by politicians in their party toward other parties are not justified. Around 80% said any political leader bending the truth was not acceptable.
However, far fewer were willing to put such views into practice.
When presented with the statement, “I have publicly expressed disapproval for what I viewed as unacceptable words or actions by someone sharing my political views,” only 16% of evangelicals strongly agreed.
By comparison, 26% somewhat agreed, while just under 50% either somewhat disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Around half of the respondents identified as Republicans, with around one quarter saying they are Democrats, and the remaining quarter being independents or another party.
Just under two-thirds of respondents voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with just under one-third voting for Hillary Clinton.
The full report is available here.