Opinions about War Split between Church Leadership and Congregant

March 18, 2003

Source: The Associated Press


On March 18, 2003 The Associated Press reported that "the nation's ranking Christian clergy have formed their strongest anti-war alliance in at least a generation, but the people in the pews don't necessarily agree with their leaders... There is opposition to the war among leaders of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, almost all the leaders of white, mainline Protestant denominations, and the heads of black Protestant groups... But with war imminent, polls indicate a majority of the faithful support President Bush... In the past, says historian Martin E. Marty, clergy successfully prodded parishioners' opinions on major social issues like alcohol prohibition and civil rights. But when it comes to war, lay Christians have gone along with the prevailing public sentiment, regardless of what they hear in church."