By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
The bombshell from the new Pew survey on government faith-based initiatives: Democrats are now more supportive than Republicans of houses of worship getting government money for social services, a turnabout from 2001, when George W. Bush launched the White House faith-based office.
A large majority of Americans continue to support faith-based programs, the new Pew Research Center survey shows, though support has slid from 75 percent in 2001 to 69 percent now.
Other key findings from Pew:Three quarters oppose George W. Bush's policy—yet to be reversed by the Obama administration—of allowing faith-based organizations receiving federal funds to hire only like-minded believers.Just more than half of Americans, 52 percent, oppose permitting Muslim mosques to apply for government dollars, up from 46 percent in 2001.Slightly less than half of Americans, 48 percent, support permitting Mormon churches to apply for government funds.There's been a marked increase in the percentage of Americans who say religious groups are best poised to feed the homeless. Check out this graph:
Most Americans don't know President Obama's position on government faith-based initiatives, nor did they know Bush's. Twenty-seven percent know that Obama supports faith-based funding; 36 percent knew that Bush backed it.About 1 in 10 Americans (9 percent) reports seeking help from a religious group during the recession.
Read the full survey report here.
———See President Obama's top faith leaders.View our Daily Faith Photo gallery.Follow Dan Gilgoff on Twitter.