Similarly, the strong believers in God's plan were more than twice as likely as the strong disbelievers to say that healthy people should not receive unemployment benefits -- 52.6 percent to 21.1 percent.
Generally, "people who believe in government deregulation believe in God's plan," said Baylor researcher Paul Froese. "Economic perspectives are intricately linked with different cosmologies."
The survey also showed a relation between income and belief in God's plan, with the strong disbelievers being more than twice as likely as the strong believers to make $100,000 or more a year. A similar, albeit somewhat weaker, connection was found between education level and religious belief. While 42.6 percent of the strong disbelievers had earned a college degree, just 32.8 percent of the strong believers had.
The Baylor survey appears amidst a debate on what lessons politicians should draw from religion to address issues such as the nation's deficit. On the one hand, religious voices such as Sojourners, a Washington, D.C.-based evangelical organization, have called for "shared sacrifice" among Americans to help the "least of these," a phrase drawn from Matthew 25:45. At the same time, others have advocated what's called the "prosperity gospel," which includes the belief that God will provide and financially bless those who believe.