1. After reading the article, it became apparent that there is a connection between perceptions of scientific phenomena, such as climate change, and political beliefs. The article describes how more Protestants are beginning to see the effect of climate change in their own communities, which can have an influence on their political beliefs. Traditionally, Democrats tend to believe science that points toward climate change, while Republicans downplay the effects of climate change or other environmental hazards such as global warming and urban sprawl.
My opinion is that climate change is indeed occurring, but there are many aspects we are unable to observe. If we do not see the effects of climate change in our own community, we are less likely to believe that it is causing harm. Even if science proves that climate change is real, unless we see it with our own eyes, we may be less willing to accept the science pointing toward its existence.
2. The article explores how religion can have a strong influence on political issues. The beginning of the article highlights how political ideas can be supported by religious leaders, such as the number of evangelical leaders who have recently included working toward environmental goals as part of their platform. This can be a way to influence political movements, such as efforts to reduce climate change, because people who look to religious leaders for guidance will be swayed by their opinions.
In my opinion, I believe that religion can play a major role in one’s political beliefs, because both religion and politics relate to personal values. If one’s values align with the doctrine of a specific religion, then the political party that most closely follows these values will be the party the person identifies with. I believe that religion can shape political views more than other demographics, such as age, gender, or even socioeconomic income.