The Bush administration has a history of suppressing research that reaches conclusions inconsistent with the GOP's political agenda or religious ideology. A recent example of this is particularly ironic: psychologists determined that conservatism can be explained as deriving from "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity."
The Guardian reports on this study (Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition) which was federally funded:
[T]he report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction. All of them "preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality".
"This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes," the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin. ... The authors, presumably aware of the outrage they were likely to trigger, added a disclaimer that their study "does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false".
The authors also stress that the characteristics they describe are part of the spectrum of human emotions and attitudes. If their conclusions are correct, then it means that conservatism is more likely to occur when someone's attitudes and emotions fall more heavily on a certain part of that spectrum. It doesn't mean that they are completely defined by them or that liberals never pop up over there.
It can be said that political conservatism tracks closely with religious conservatism. If true, is that bad? No. Is there a connection or just coincidence? More likely the former. Given the fact that fear, aggression, and intolerance of ambiguity seem to be relatively common human reactions to their surroundings (and can easily all occur at the same time), the idea that a political tendency might be associated with them isn't outlandish.