Look who's talking about religion.
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Access changed 1-12-2011.
Staha, Melissa B.
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There is an ongoing debate about the health of America's civil society, the decline in participation of certain types of political activity, and the increasing rhetoric surrounding religion and politics. Using a national survey concerning religious and political beliefs, this paper examines which types of people are proselytizing, who is comfortable talking about religion and finally, how those two conditions influence opinions and actions concerning politics. We find that witnessing is about religious involvement and not necessarily about belief. Political conservatives who do not roselytize are more comfortable talking about religion. Those who are conservative, comfortable talking about religion, and who proselytize want religion to be in the public sphere and are less tolerant of other viewpoints. Finally, those who proselytize are interested in conversion and are not as politically active, while those who are comfortable talking about religion are more politically involved.