Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Catholic and Orthodox

While I have a lot of respect for both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, they are not sociologically conservative--at least not as I measure it. I figure a denomination is conservative in this sense if its most involved members are its most conservative. You can gauge the soul of a church by its most active people. If I calculate the correlation between attendance and one's level of political conservatism for a sample of white Southern Baptists (GSS data), I get a decent .28--more religious people tend to be more conservative. By contrast, the correlation for white Catholics is a trivial .11, and Orthodox members are even worse: .07.  I know many liberals in both denominations who can be found in the pews every Sunday. It seems like the conservative parishioners are more outspoken (refreshing for someone who spends Monday-Friday listening to loudmouth, university-emboldened liberals). But if you want a church filled with conservatives, you will probably have to go elsewhere.     

7 comments:

Joe said...

You said what matters is how conservative the most active members are, but then you tested the correlations between conservativism and activity. That's not the same thing. Maybe inactive orthodox are strongly conservative and active orthodox only a little more conservative.

sykes.1 said...

The Roman Catholic Church (I'm apostate many years.) is strongly communitarian. Modern left/right labels are not relevant here. The Church's moral teachings are incompatible with any modern left group, but its social teachings are socialist. (The Old Testament is one root of socialism.) The Church is also ambivalent about democracy, although it has in recent year endorsed it. The Church also support decentralized government. It's ideal is probably Medieval feudalism with the powerful role played by bishops.

bgc said...

Absolutely true.

It is very hard to find anybody sensible in any church - they are all *primarily* worldly and PC - debate and activities are focused on Fair Trade, Aid for Africa, eco-consumerism, diversity, sexual liberation, political liberation, pacifism and so on...

Fr Seraphim Rose would surely have regarded this as further evidence that the 'end times' are becoming well-advanced; and of the absolute need for 'discernment'.

Sg.t Joe Friday said...

My wife is Catholic and I went to Catholic high school, but I'm nominally Lutheran.

That said, I no longer attend church regularly. Most of the mainline Protestant faiths are out on the kook fringe left, politically speaking, as is the Catholic church, which is in a league by itself. At least here in southern California they strike me as little more than an organized criminal enterprise that engages in illegal alien smuggling and a child sex ring, with a protection racket thrown in.

FWIW, the pastor at our local parish is the son of a famous hamburger magnate known for his politically conservative views. I can't say I know the man well, but he comes off as a sanctimonious dickhead. The old man is undoubtedly rolling over in his grave.

hailtoyou said...

sykes.1 wrote:
The [Catholic] Church's...social teachings are socialist.

In final analysis, the RCC is a self-serving institution. They view institutional survival as the goal. THis more often than not takes the form of being in the anti-nationalist/anti-racialist camp.

A few examples of the erratic views of the Roman Church that ultimately come down in favor of universalizing ["catholicizing"] the Human Race:

The Vatican was an opponent of Soviet-Communism (once it was contained), but it also sponsored uprisings by radical Marxists across the Third World.

It opposes abortion, but strongly supports open-immigration for its darker-hued subjects to the USA. [Some have conflated the two as being loosely the same position, though].

Anonymous said...

Remarkable that the "insights" on churches are offered by people who are "apostate many years" or "no longer attend church" or whatever... Would be nice to hear from some churchgoers, people actually laboring in the vineyard who know what's going on.

SFG said...

Look up Judaism. Orthodox Jews are pretty conservative, at least the ones I talked to.