In medio stat virtus ...

Tobin Grant is a political science professor at Southern Illinois University and associate editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and our resident religion-and-data blogger at Religion News Service. He came up with this cool new graphic of the political positions of 44 religious communities and churches, or rather the positions of their members as based on a major Pew survey.

If you are looking for the circle that represents Catholics, check out that large one in the center. With precious few other groups around it. Yes, I say that with pride, because I tend to gravitate to the center (though we all like to flatter ourselves, I suspect, that we are the center even if we are on the fringe). But since the center is not holding these days, it's a point of pride, and perhaps virtue, that Catholics are standing there. And it seems to me to reflect a Catholic common good sensibility.

On the other hand, in politics the middle of the road is reserved for roadkill. And this bullseye doesn't really indicate the ugly polarization within the church. But still ...

PS: Apoligies for the ham-handed graphics posting. I'll never figure out this blog's back end. In any case, click on thumbnail of the graphic to see it at full size.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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