WWJD? For some Americans, it turns out, the iconic question is little more than a slogan on a bracelet.
According to a new poll, some Americans hold political views that they believe diverge from those they think Jesus would support. The poll was conducted among 1,000 Americans by YouGov, a non-partisan research and consulting organization. According to the study, Americans diverge most sharply from their perceptions of Jesus on key social issues:
– Abortion: Forty-eight percent of respondents said they support legal abortion, while only 20 percent said Jesus would support it. Only 31 percent of Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics support legal abortion.
– Gay marriage: Forty-eight percent of respondents said they support gay marriage, while only 32 percent said they think Jesus would support it. Only 31 percent of Protestants and 44 percent of Catholics support gay marriage.
– Death penalty: Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they support the death penalty for murderers, while only 34 percent said they think Jesus would support it. Fifty-nine percent of Protestants and 66 percent of Catholics support the death penalty for murderers. (According to a recent Barna study, only 5 percent of Americans said they think Jesus would agree, “the government should have the option to execute the worst criminals.”)
– Carbon emissions: Sixty-four percent of respondents said they support reducing carbon emissions, while only 52 percent said they think Jesus would support it. Fifty-five percent of Protestants and 63 percent of Catholics support reducing carbon emissions.
Americans—over three-quarters of whom identify as Christian—are more liberal than they think Jesus would be, with the exception of the death penalty for murderers.