By ERIC GORSKI, AP Religion Writer Thu Aug 21, 5:48 PM ET
Social conservatives are growing more wary of church involvement in politics, joining moderates and liberals in their unease about blurring the lines between pulpit and ballot box, a new study found.
Fifty percent of conservatives think churches and other places of worship should stay out of social and political matters, up from 30 percent four years ago, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the for the People and the Press.
That significant shift in conservative thought has brought the country to a tipping point on the question: a slim majority of Americans — 52 percent — now think churches should keep out of politics.
That's an eight percentage point increase over 2004 and the first time a majority of Americans has held that opinion since Pew officials started asking the question 12 years ago.