That key weekend think piece I didn't have time to post: God and the EU referendum?

Are you following the many angles of the debates in Great Britain about the future of the European Union?

To say that this is an emotional and explosive debate would be a great understatement. That would have been true even before the brutal killing of British MP Jo Cox, a rising Labour Party star who was outspoken in her support for staying in the embattled EU.

Her attacker, of course, was said to have shouted, "Put Britain first!"

All kinds of ultimate questions about culture and national identity loom in the background during these debates, including rising tensions about the role of Islam in what is clearly post-Christian European culture.

This leads me to another essay that has been published by Lapido Media, a London-based think tank dedicated to promoting literacy on religion issues in the mainstream press, among political elites and in public life, in general. Lapido is led by a friend of this blog, Dr. Jenny Taylor.

This piece by Peter Carruthers ran under the headline, "Still time to face facts: the EU referendum is a religious issue too." You should read the whole thing, but here is a slice of two of the context, starting with the overture.

POLITICIANS are ignoring research that shows that religious affiliation could determine the EU referendum.
A survey in April by the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) showed that 54 per cent of those identifying as Christian were more likely to favour leaving the EU compared with 43 per cent of those with no religious affiliation.

This is even after allowing for the effects of political partisanship, region, age and education.
The survey also revealed significant differences among Christian denominations, with 60 per cent of Baptists likely to vote leave, compared with 54 per cent of Methodists, 52 per cent of Anglicans and 51 per cent of Roman Catholics.

So what about believers in other faiths? This is the crucial second set of numbers included in this piece (which includes quite a few URLs to supporting information that journalists will want to see):

Differences in voting intentions between Christians and those of other or no religions were also revealed in a survey of English adults conducted by Populus in May for the Hope not Hate campaigning organization.

Nearly 51 per cent of those identifying themselves as Christians, said they would definitely or were more likely to vote to leave the EU, compared with 41 per cent of those of no religion, 38 per cent of Muslims and 13 per cent of Hindus.

Sample sizes for Sikhs and Jews were too small to draw any conclusions, but a poll for the Jewish Chronicle in May showed that just 34 per cent of Jews in Britain backed Brexit.

It is not just in Britain that support for the European Union has a religious dimension.

Are public officials involved in this culture-shaping debate paying attention to this crucial element in the debates?

Want to guess the answer to that?

Read it all.

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