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Religious Market Interest Groups: Do They Sing with an Upper Class Accent?

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Mediating Religion and Government

Abstract

Interest groups play an important role in our democratic process as intermediaries between the public and elected officials. They represent and lobby on behalf of every sector of the economy, and religious organizations are no exception. Yet, the literature on interest groups often treats groups formed around religion as somehow differently motivated than other interest groups (Clark and Wilson 1961; Baumgartner and Leech 1998). Religious groups are assumed to be active in politics by values and causes that are above mere economics. Books on religious interest groups emphasize that these groups are “Representing God in Washington” (Hertzke 1988) and are “In Washington but not of it” (Hofrenning 1995); the larger literature on interest groups likewise separates religious groups from those that represent economic interests. We approach religious interest groups differently. We see advocacy for religion as another economic interest. Religion is, of course, distinct from other parts of life, but economics and rationality do not stop on the steps of a church. Organized religion is made up of economic groups that require mammon not manna from heaven.

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Authors

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Kevin R. den Dulk Elizabeth A. Oldmixon

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© 2014 Kevin R. den Dulk and Elizabeth A. Oldmixon

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Grant, J.T., Kim, S.H., Velez, R. (2014). Religious Market Interest Groups: Do They Sing with an Upper Class Accent?. In: den Dulk, K.R., Oldmixon, E.A. (eds) Mediating Religion and Government. Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137389756_3

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