What’s God look like? Depends on your politics and race, study finds

Do American Christians view God more as an almighty ruler or a loving creator? That could say a lot about how they vote.

A new study from the University of North Carolina finds that politics play a role in how believers picture the divine, an image also influenced by their own race and appearance.

For the study, researchers asked 511 Christians in the U.S. to compare hundreds of faces to choose those that looked more like God. From that, a composite image arose showing how they see their creator. The result? Not a white beard in sight.

The God of American Christians appeared “kinder and more approachable” than the stern sage of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, researchers said. But that precise face differed based on one’s leanings: Conservatives tended to see God as older, more masculine and wealthier, with an emphasis on power, while liberals pictured God as younger and more feminine with an emphasis on love.

“These biases might have stemmed from the type of societies that liberals and conservatives want,” Joshua…

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