American Worldview Inventory 2020 – ‘The Election is about worldview’

Sep 7, 2020 by

From Cultural Research Centre, Arizona Christian University:

As the 2020 election nears, new research from the American Worldview Inventory 2020 shows a broad, deep gap in American political beliefs and behavior, rooted not in ideology or partisanship, but in fundamental differences in the worldview of voting-age adults being fueled by a national cultural shift away from the biblical worldview.

Veteran researcher and author of the survey, Dr. George Barna, says the findings lead to one unmistakable conclusion. “The 2020 election is not about personalities, parties, or even politics. It is an election to determine the dominant worldview in America.”

According to the latest AWVI findings from the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, worldview differences are driving deep divisions in American politics. The findings show that that those who possess a biblical worldview are more likely to be consistently conservative (78%), preferring capitalism over socialism (83%), favoring conservative fiscal (80%) and social (91%) policies, opposing abortion based on clear biblical teaching (89%), and holding a more conservative, limited view of the size and scope of government (83%).

Conversely, only 5% of those with a biblical worldview are likely to adopt liberal views on fiscal, social and governance issues. According to the research, those without a biblical worldview are more likely to support liberal fiscal (26%) and social (40%) policies, do not believe the Bible is unambiguous in its views on abortion (38%), and favor a more liberal, expansive view of governance (26%). And a full 98% of those who prefer socialism over capitalism also reject the biblical worldview, instead adopting a non-traditional worldview.

The research shows no clear majority for either conservative or liberal positions, which Barna says increases tensions in American politics, as both sides try to win over those with no consistent preference. Three out of ten voting-age Americans consistently embrace conservative points of view on fiscal, social, and governance matters, while two out of ten consistently assume liberal positions.

Other key findings:

• People with a biblical worldview are significantly more likely to pay a lot or quite a bit of attention to political news (70% versus 57%). The survey also found that adults with a biblical worldview are more likely than are those without such a worldview to be registered to vote.

• Gay marriage remains a deeply divided issue based on worldview. Almost all those with a biblical worldview (95%) hold a traditional view of marriage defined as a bond between one man and one woman. Only one-third of adults lacking a biblical worldview (34%) embrace that position.

• A person’s worldview affects their view of law enforcement. Those with a biblical worldview prefer “law and order” policies such as police neutrally enforcing the rule of law equally, while those who believe in the innate goodness of humanity more likely support defunding police and the military.

  • The practical significance of religious freedom, largely protected by the First Amendment, is evident among those with a biblical worldview. Nearly all of them (98%) say they are “deeply committed to practicing” their religious faith—a claim made by only 57% of other adults.

Read here (PDF)

Editor’s note: This research and its conclusions are in themselves not neutral, but an example of the clash of worldviews that is described. For more articles with Christian reflection on social and cultural conflict in the lead up to the US elections, see our collection here.

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