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Religiosity and the Interest in the Military Policy

Updated on May 4, 2017

Religion may have an impact on people’s beliefs, attending religious services may also have an impact people’s opinion of policies. For example, religion can influence a person’s political view. Religion attendance may have an impact on people’s view of military policy, because attending church can enable the growth of conservative view on policies. Does attending religion services have an influence on people’s view on military policy? Attending church will push you to have a conservative view on policy’s, pushing for more concern on religion than anything else. It influences policy views because if it is contradicting religion, people are more likely to listen to the priest for answers that are “right”, than to view the point of what is best at that moment to get out of a situation. Scholars have shown that attending religious services has an impact on military policy, for the fact that religion will stop you from taking affirmative action to protect the United States, and that attending religious services will help you have a better understanding in American foreign policy.

Scholars have demonstrated the relationship between religiosity and the interest in the military. For example, Brown (2013) show that attending religious services makes people interested in understanding American foreign policy. Some researchers say that attending religion services has an impact in the interest of military policy, (Baumgartner et al. 2008). Baumgartner et al. (2008) show that attending religious services does influence a person’s interest of military policy, the extent of which depends on your religion and how often your religion requires your attendance at services. Baumgartner shows that religions that require more frequent attendance of services tend to have much stronger views towards military policy even when public interest declines. Another researcher says that there is a conflict of being in the military as a Chaplin, (Burchard. 1954). Burchard (1954) shows that Chaplin’s are supposed to know the difference from taking any kind of action from one’s duty and being religious, and helps soldiers whose religion may conflict with their military service. It is hard for a Chaplin to make tough decisions that sometimes will be a tough call for him, and still look good for his or her soldiers to do the greater good of situations. These articles demonstrate that religion has an impact on a person’s interest in policies, with those who are more religious being more likely to be interested in military policy, I believe that attending religion services does have an impact for one’s interest in military policy.

Given my interest in how religiosity influences interest in military policy, I used the data from the General Social Survey administered in 2014. The data set has 2,538 observations, with individuals as the unit of analysis. The data set includes an array of information, including demographics, behavioral, and attitudinal measures. The data set includes numerous variables to examine the relationship between religiosity and interest in military policy. I will use measures related to religious services attendances and those related to the individual’s interest in military policies. I will use regression analysis to understand the effect attendance has on the interest in policies. Preliminary bivariate analysis, using correlation, between INTMIL and ATTEND is weak, negative, and non-significant: r = -.03852664, the p value for these two variables is p-value = .1764 since p <.05 this makes it non-significant. This indicates that as one variable increases, the other decreases. People with higher levels of attendance of religion services (i.e. higher values of ATTEND) believes that frequency of interest of military policy is not important (i.e. lower levels of INTMIL). Although the relationship was non-significant, there are variables I did not use that could influence the relationship between interest in military policy and religiosity, such as education, race, gender, and social class.

In conclusion, this research question was “does attending religion services have an influence on people’s view on military policy?”, and while doing my own data research, I also did multiple readings from scholars who also developed a similar question as mine. In my data research, I found that attending religion services has a non-significant on people’s view in military policy. The reason I came to that conclusion is on the correlation test that I took with those two variables, INTMIL and ATTEND, it turned out to be weak, negative, and non-significant: r = -.03852664, since the p value for these two variables is p-value = .1764 and it did not reach the minimum requirement of being p <.05. This shows that as one variable increases, the other decreases. People with higher levels of attendance of religion services (i.e. higher values of ATTEND) believes that frequency of interest of military policy is not important (i.e. lower levels of INTMIL). Even though the relationship was non-significant, there were variables that I did take into consideration that could help influence the relationship between interest in military policy and religiosity, such as education, race, gender, and social class. Some of the scholar’s articles that I found and read showed that religiosity does have an impact on military policy, because it increases the interest of understanding the American foreign policies. Whereas other scholars have shown that depending on the number times you have attended religious services changes you’re thought in your interest of military policies. Then the last article that I read was about being in the service has an effect in the military policies that they must follow. Being a Chaplin requires making tough calls for oneself and giving advice to others that need help in guidance on what they should do. Religious attendance may have an impact on people’s view of military policy, because attending church can enable the growth of having conservative view on policies. Research has shown that attending church will push you to have a conservative view on policy’s, pushing for more concern on religion than anything else. There will be times that some military policies can have some contradiction of what one religion may have influenced one’s beliefs; people are more likely to listen to the priest for answers that are “right”, than to view the point of what is best at that moment to get out of a situation.

Reference

Baumgartner, J. C., P. L. Francia, and J. S. Morris. 2008. “A Clash of Civilizations? The Influence of Religion on Public Opinion of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.” Political Research Quarterly 61(2):171–79.

Brown, Ronald E., R. Khari Brown, and Aaron W. Blase. 2013. “Religion and Military Policy Attitudes in America.” Review of Religious Research 55(4):573–95.

Burchard, Waldo W. 1954. “Role Conflicts of Military Chaplains.” American Sociological Review 19(5):528.

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