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Baptists and Church-State Advocacy: An Analysis of the Effects of Membership Opinion on Lobbying the Supreme Court
Unformatted Document Text:  difference of means tests. However, conducting difference of means tests by race show that there are no statistically significant differences between white members of the BJC and white members of the ERLC on all five questions at both the .05 and .10 levels. The same is true for black members of the BJC and ERLC. There is also no statistically significant difference between black and white members of the BJC on any questions. The results survive controls for race. It might also be hypothesized that the commitment to the religious organization would influence members’ opinions, as commitment theory expects that those most committed to an organization are most committed to a cause (Sabatier 1992). Commitment to the denominational organization can most efficiently be tested using church attendance measures, as those that attend more should understand the policy positions of their denomination and should be more likely to agree with these positions. To test this, I categorized members of the BJC and ERLC into low attendance (those that attend once or twice a year or less), medium attendance (those that attend several times a year to 2-3 times a month), and high attendance (those that attend about weekly to weekly) categories. Again, there is no significant difference between the means of high attending members of the BJC and high attending members of the ERLC. Both strongly support government accommodation of religion. There is also no significant difference of opinion among members of the BJC and ERLC that attend at medium levels or at low levels, except at the low attendance level there is a difference at the .10 level, with members of the BJC more strongly favoring funding of faith-based initiatives. Based purely on membership opinion, one would expect that both the BJC and the ERLC would take positions that the government should encourage public religious activities and provide support to religion. However, these are not the positions that the groups formally take 20

Authors: Lewis, Andrew.
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difference of means tests.  However, conducting difference of means tests by race show that 
there are no statistically significant differences between white members of the BJC and white 
members of the ERLC on all five questions at both the .05 and .10 levels.  The same is true for 
black members of the BJC and ERLC.  There is also no statistically significant difference 
between black and white members of the BJC on any questions.  The results survive controls for 
It might also be hypothesized that the commitment to the religious organization would 
influence members’ opinions, as commitment theory expects that those most committed to an 
organization are most committed to a cause (Sabatier 1992).  Commitment to the denominational 
organization can most efficiently be tested using church attendance measures, as those that attend 
more should understand the policy positions of their denomination and should be more likely to 
agree with these positions.  To test this, I categorized members of the BJC and ERLC into low 
attendance (those that attend once or twice a year or less), medium attendance (those that attend 
several times a year to 2-3 times a month), and high attendance (those that attend about weekly 
to weekly) categories.  Again, there is no significant difference between the means of high 
attending members of the BJC and high attending members of the ERLC.  Both strongly support 
government accommodation of religion.  There is also no significant difference of opinion 
among members of the BJC and ERLC that attend at medium levels or at low levels, except at 
the low attendance level there is a difference at the .10 level, with members of the BJC more 
strongly favoring funding of faith-based initiatives.
Based purely on membership opinion, one would expect that both the BJC and the ERLC 
would take positions that the government should encourage public religious activities and 
provide support to religion.  However, these are not the positions that the groups formally take 

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