“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
Gibson, Michael Troy
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There is considerable talk of a “culture war” in American politics where factions battle to have their moral views confirmed by government. These factions are said to be increasingly polarized over issues of first principles and values and are divided along religious lines. On one side are the orthodox (or religious traditionalists) and on the other are the progressives and irreligious. If this is a legitimate characterization of recent developments in American politics, then state policies should reflect this war as candidates and lawmakers respond to the pressures of cultural conflict. This study examines the determinants a variety of state policies, both morality (e.g., abortion, homosexual marriage, etc.) and non-morality (e.g., education and Medicaid spending) policies. Results indicate that the culture war accurately predicts the importance of orthodox religious adherence over state policy outcomes even when conventional determinants are taken into account (i.e., political and socioeconomic factors).