Faith in the System

With 60 percent of Americans now believing that religion can solve all of today?s problems, politicians have learned their place.

Illustrations by: Ross MacDonald

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In the Senate’s Dirksen Office Building last March, convicted felon Reverend Sun Myung Moon was coronated in a bizarre ceremony attended by at least 13 members of Congress (the Unification Church claims 81 attended). A longtime conservative patron and owner of the Washington Times, Moon has recently reached out to the black community. Several African American legislators attended, including Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), who crowned Moon while the reverend declared himself to be the Messiah and to have saved the souls of Hitler and Stalin. Use of the building requires authorization by a senator, but the identity of that lawmaker was not made public.




Yes (among SUV drivers)


Yes (among non-SUV drivers)




And 7% volunteered that he would walk 

Source: The Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life

“Unique among the nations, America recognized the source of our character as being godly and eternal, not being civic and temporal. We have no king but Jesus.”
– John Ashcroft

“George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters.  He was appointed by God.”
– General William Boykin

“You could almost wind up creating a godless orthodoxy.”
– White House Faith-Based Czar Jim Towey, on a Bush defeat

“I don’t believe there is a separation of church and state. I think the Constitution is very clear. We have the right and the freedom to exercise our religion no matter what it is anywhere we choose to do it. We have an opportunity to once again get back into the public arena.”
– Tom DeLay

“Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives.”
– Barry Goldwater


% of citizens who regularly attend religious services

% of core party loyalists who regularly attend religious services

Source: Gallup International Source: National Election Studies, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan


President Bush has used the word “evil” at least 350 times in speeches.

85% of Bush supporters say his faith makes him a strong leader; 65% of Kerry supporters say Bush’s faith makes him closed-minded.

John Ashcroft spent $8,000 on curtains to cover the partially nude statues “Spirit of Justice” and “Majesty of Law.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch has earned $65,986 as a Christian recording artist.

By 2016, Christian Exodus hopes to get 50,000 followers to move to South Carolina, secede, and “reestablish” a Christian nation.

38% of Americans wouldn’t vote for a well-qualified Muslim for president.

52% wouldn’t vote for a well-qualified atheist.

4 in 10 Americans think that politicians talk of faith and prayer “too little”; 2 in 10 say “too much.”

Half of all Saudis approve of Osama bin Laden’s rhetoric, but only 5% want him to rule over them.

There are 3,000 fewer Rastas in the U.S. now than in 1990, but 126,000 more Wiccans.

In June, the Vatican announced that church Inquisitors had tortured people for only 15 minutes at a time, and only in the presence of a doctor.

1 in 2 American Catholics believe churches should “keep out” of political matters.

Since 2002, a sex-ed group that criticizes the administration’s abstinence-only policies has been audited by  federal health officials three times.

78% of Americans would rather hear a presidential candidate’s plan for fighting poverty than his position on gay marriage.

51% of Americans call providing universal health care “a moral issue,” and 72% would be willing to repeal the tax cuts to do it.

3 in 4 evangelicals say Bush has proved to be a compassionate conservative. Just 2 in 5 Catholics agree.

7 in 10 white evangelicals say Israel was “given to the Jews by God.”

7 in 10 Israelis want to evacuate most West Bank settlements.

Pope John Paul II has a 4-point-higher approval rating among evangelicals than Pat Robertson.

In 2001, Robertson called faith-based grants a “Pandora’s box” that fosters dependency on government and funds cults that “brainwash.”

In 2002, his Operation Blessing organization applied for a $500,000 grant, which was awarded.

Last fall, Republicans pressured the NIH to investigate 157 AIDS and sexuality researchers on a list provided by the Traditional Values Coalition.

13 of the 16 members of the 1996 Texas task force that recommended Gov. Bush waive regulations on faith-based groups worked for such groups.

By 2001, Texas faith-based child-care facilities had rates of “confirmed abuse and neglect” 25 times higher than regulated child-care facilities.

The conservative Family Research Council calculates that 6 million likely Democratic voters have been aborted since Roe v. Wade.

61% of Democrats pray daily.


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