Though religion has been shown to have generally positive effects on normative ‘prosocial’ behavior, recent laboratory research suggests that these effects may be driven primarily by supernatural punishment. Supernatural benevolence, on the other hand, may actually be associated with less prosocial behavior.In Support for Redistribution in Western Europe: Assessing the role of religion, Daniel Stegmueller et al. conclude:
We find that both Catholics and Protestants strongly oppose income redistribution by the state. The cleavage between religious and secular individuals is far more important than the difference between denominations.This would seem to explain something about the religious right.
Links via Mungowitz at Kids Prefer Cheese.