The U.S. is a diverse country, particularly in the faith and beliefs of its citizens. Even with a nearly 80% Christian-identified population, opinions about certain values and social issues vary dramatically.
If Jesus were were alive today and one of the 300,000,000+ Americans weighing in on these social issues, which issues would he support? How would he vote?
YouGov, a non-partisan polling organization, published the results of a survey that asked Americans to weigh in on several critical issues facing the country today -- and then rate how they think Jesus would feel about the same issues. The results highlight an American public often split by religion on hot-button issues but generally more liberal than it believes Jesus would be.
Here is a profile on the social values of Jesus Christ, according to American voters:
1. Jesus would not support gay marriage.
Although 55 percent of Americans support gay marriage, YouGov found that only 32 percent believe Jesus would be in favor of same-sex unions. Of all religious and demographic groups measures, only atheists and agnostics believed by a majority that Jesus would support the issue.
2. Jesus would oppose legal abortion.
Fifty-two percent of Americans believe Jesus would oppose legal abortion, and 20 percent believe he would support it. Forty-seven percent of U.S. adults describe themselves as pro-choice, according to Gallup, and 50 percent support legal abortion under certain circumstances. Sixty-eight percent of nonreligious Americans say they are pro-choice, but most atheists and agnostics don't believe Jesus would support abortion.
3. Jesus would support universal healthcare.
A majority of Americans almost across the board believe that Jesus would be in favor of universal healthcare, YouGov found. Fifty-four percent of Americans support universal healthcare, and slightly more -- 55 percent -- believe Jesus would support it. Thirty percent of Americans oppose, whereas only 19 percent believe Jesus would oppose universal healthcare. The greatest discrepancy appeared among those who pray several times a day, only 44 percent of whom think Jesus would favor universal healthcare.
4. Jesus would not support the death penalty for murderers.
Americans are fairly split over how Jesus would feel about the death penalty for murderers, but a majority agree that Jesus would not actively support it. YouGov's survey found, though, that a majority of Americans themselves support the death penalty for murderers, with the lowest support demonstrated at 18 percent of those who pray once a week and the highest support among the wealthy.
5. Jesus would not support stricter gun laws.
Although just 45 percent of Americans believe Jesus would support stricter gun laws, only 25 percent think he would oppose them and 29 percent aren't sure. So if Jesus gathered his beliefs from the American public, he would be somewhat undecided on the gun control issue. These numbers reflect how Americans themselves fall on the issue of stricter gun laws, which may be due in part to the fact that the majority of Americans think restricted access to guns does not prevent killings.
6. Jesus would not support high taxes on the wealthy.
Even though he spent much of his life pastoring to the poor and marginalized, according to gospel, Jesus apparently would not support taxing the wealthy at a higher rate, Americans say. Fifty-one percent of American millionaires think inequality is a "major issue" in this country, and 64 percent support higher taxes for the wealthy, according to a 2014 CNBC poll. But just 47 percent of those whose family income is $100K or more believe Jesus would be in favor of increasing taxes for the wealthy.
7. Jesus would support reducing carbon emissions.
A majority of Americans believe Jesus would support reducing carbon emissions, though the survey did not specify how he would go about it. Would Jesus be a solar-power advocate? A composter? We may never know. Sixty-seven percent of Americans support the new Environmental Protection Agency rules aimed at cutting carbon emissions 30 percent by 2013. Significantly fewer but still a majority -- 52 percent -- believe Jesus would support reducing emissions, and 13 percent believe he would oppose doing so.