What role does religious affiliation play in influencing congressional voting?
In and of itself, denominational ties are not significant, says the Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU). This group, dedicated to preserving the constitutional guarantees of religious liberty, has released a report on the church affiliations of US representatives and senators.
This study shows that the new Congress will have 142 Roman Catholics, more than ever before. Next largest group is Methodists with 73; Episcopalians will number 61; Presbyterians, 54, and Baptists, 46 (the small representation for this group in over two decades).
AU stresses that the religious factor is ''moderately significant'' on such issues as school prayer, tuition tax credits, and abortion.