Support the Café

Search our Site

Americans warming up to more religious groups

Americans warming up to more religious groups

The Pew Research Center has just released results of a new study showing that Americans are feeling more positive about Muslims, Hindus, Mormons and atheists, a shift occurring across gender, age and political lines:

Asked to rate a variety of groups on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100, U.S. adults give nearly all groups warmer ratings than they did in a June 2014 Pew Research Center survey.

While Americans still feel coolest toward Muslims and atheists, mean ratings for these two groups increased from a somewhat chilly 40 and 41 degrees, respectively, to more neutral ratings of 48 and 50. Jews and Catholics continue to be among the groups that receive the warmest ratings – even warmer than in 2014.

In an election year where evangelicals have been spotlighted more than usual, Americans’ opinions of them did not change, remaining at the same 61 degrees as in 2014.

Just over four-in-ten Americans (44%) feel very warmly toward evangelical Christians, while 38% rate them in the middle of the thermometer and about one-in-five (18%) express cooler feelings toward this group. These ratings also include many people who consider themselves to be evangelical Christians (28% in the sample analyzed); once self-described evangelicals are excluded, a smaller share of non-evangelical U.S. adults (32%) rate evangelicals in the warmest third of the thermometer.

Not surprisingly, Americans tend to have warm perceptions of their own:

Religious groups tend to rate their own group most positively. For example, Jewish respondents give Jews an average rating of 91 degrees on the 0-to-100 scale. Catholics rate their own group at a warm 83. And self-described atheists rate atheists at 82.

White evangelical Protestants rate evangelical Christians as a whole at 81 degrees, and white mainline Protestants rate mainline Protestants at 75. Black Protestants place both mainline Protestants and evangelical Christians in the mid to high 60s.

Episcopalians fared pretty well:

Pluralities of Americans give Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, atheists and Muslims temperature ratings somewhere in the middle of the thermometer. Roughly equal shares rate atheists coldly (28%) as rate them warmly (30%). And slightly more Americans view Muslims in a negative light (30%) than a positive one (25%). Relatively few U.S. adults (9%) rate mainline Protestants (e.g., Episcopalians or United Methodists) coldly. The rest view this group either warmly (46%) or somewhat neutrally (44%).

Read the report here.

Photo: FreeImages.com/César Díaz

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café