Poll: Capitalism at odds with Christianity

April 22, 2011 at 11:21 PM

WASHINGTON, April 22 (UPI) -- Forty-four percent of U.S. adults say Christian values are at odds with capitalism and the free market, but 36 percent say they're compatible, a survey found.

The Religion News Survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute, indicates 62 percent say one of the biggest problems in the country is that more and more of the wealth is held by a relatively few people, while 24 percent say this is not really a big problem.

"In the current economic climate, more religious Americans than not see some conflict between Christian values and capitalism," Dr. Robert P. Jones, chief executive officer of Public Religion Research Institute, says in a statement.

Among Christians, 38 percent say capitalism and the free market are consistent with Christian values while 46 percent say the two are at odds. Party affiliation influences this view, with 53 percent of Democrats saying capitalism and Christian values are at odds and 26 percent saying they are compatible, while 37 percent of Republicans say Christian values and capitalism are at odds and 46 percent say the two are compatible.

Sixty-one percent of U.S. adults disagree that most businesses would act ethically on their own without government regulation, while 66 percent say it's fair for wealthier Americans to pay more taxes than the middle class.

The telephone survey was 1,010 U.S. adults was conducted April 14-17 and has a margin of error 3 percentage points.

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