The South is generally a religious region of the United States. Fittingly, Louisiana is in the heart of this region. In a survey study conducted by The Pew Research Center, Louisiana is the fourth most religious state in the country based on overall index of importance of religion, frequency of prayer, worship attendance and belief in God. Seventy-one percent of adults in Louisiana are considered “highly religious”.
Coincidentally, the South is also a historically Conservative region. The Pew Research Center’s table below shows that 50 percent of adults in Louisiana considered themselves as Conservatives in 2014 while only 14 percent considered themselves as Liberals in their political ideology.
There seems to be a correlation between religious view and political party affiliation. Simply put, conservative means to preserve existing conditions. Conservatism and religion have that in common. On the opposite side, liberal means to favor change. Pew Research Center’s chart below shows the religious composition of Louisiana adults. Eighty-four percent are Christian.
The Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state. These two topics are hard to keep separate from a government point of view, but even more difficult for an individual person with religious beliefs. There is overlap. Religious beliefs sometimes naturally influence political beliefs. The map below was made by politicalmaps.org. Politico predicted the 2016 election results and labeled Louisiana as “Safe R” meaning they have no doubt that majority of Louisianans will vote for the Republican Party nominee. Fittingly, the Republican Party boasts Conservative views. This makes sense especially when social issues are considered.
There are two political social issues directly correlating to Christian religious values that The Pew Research Center has conducted surveys on: abortion and same-sex marriage. Christians believe in the Bible. The Bible states that killing is wrong. This leads to a pro-life political view. the Bible also states that marriage should be between a man and a woman. This leads to views against marriage equality. These two stances are supported by Conservatives and the Republican Party. The table below made by The Pew Research Center shows that half of adults in Louisiana oppose or strongly oppose same-sex marriage. That is a higher percentage than most other states. This correlates to the religious views of Louisiana residents.
The table below created by The Pew Research Center shows Louisiana’s views about abortion. Fifty-seven percent of adults in Louisiana believe that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. That is also a higher percentage than most other states. Once again correlating to the residents’ religious views.
While social issues like these are not the only components considered when affiliating with a political party, the data supports that they are likely significant factors. Religious beliefs of Louisiana residents seem to largely impact their political affiliation.