After inquiring about pastors' views on the upcoming election,
LifeWay Research has learned, among other things, that ministers
don't think it's right to endorse political candidates from the
LifeWay Research surveyed roughly 1,000
Protestant pastors on various aspects, and director Scott McConnell
says his group learned that three-fourths of pastors disagree that
the election cycle has been too religious and do not see the
election as a referendum on religion.
"We asked them whether pastors should endorse candidates for
public office from the pulpit, and almost nine out of ten pastors
disagreed; and in fact, 71 percent strongly disagreed that pastors
should be doing that," McConnell reports.
"Pastors clearly respect the sacred desk of the pulpit enough to
discourage its use to affect elections."
The survey also asked pastors if they had endorsed
political candidates outside their role as pastor.
"Less than half the pastors indicated that they had done that
this year -- just 44 percent," the LifeWay Research director notes.
"But it appears that two-thirds of them have to some extent,
because only 33 percent 'strongly disagree' that they've endorsed
candidates from the pulpit."
McConnell adds that pastors clearly have their personal views on
who the best candidates are, but they choose not to make
endorsements from the pulpit.
This survey comes in advance of October 7, the Alliance
Defending Freedom's "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" in which pastors are
encouraged to make endorsements and speak on moral campaign issues
to challenge an IRS rule that prohibits such discussion from the