A recent poll of bigotry among religious groups managed to expose another level of bigotry in a certain unthinking tool, one David Briggs, who reported on it. It’s fine that they’re examining the problem of prejudice, but the last sentence at the end of this quote makes it clear that the virtue isn’t seen in terms of ending prejudice, but in promoting religious adherence.
A new study by Michigan State sociologist Ralph Pyle presented at this month’s joint meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Religious Research Association in Tampa, Fla., shows how all sides in the conservative-liberal religious divide have work to do in combating prejudice and promoting tolerance.
Pyle measured nearly 3,000 responses from General Social Survey data from 1998-2004 on several issues such as openness to racial intermarriage and racially mixed neighborhoods and ranked religious groups on a scale of anti-black and anti-immigrant attitudes.
He found that moderate Protestants held the strongest anti-black attitudes. The next most prejudiced group? Liberal Protestants.
As expected, black Protestants were the least prejudiced against blacks. But they were the most prejudiced against immigrants. Conservative Protestants were the second most prejudiced group against immigrants. Jews, Catholics and other religious groups showed less prejudice to both groups, being particularly open to immigrants.
The good news for religious groups: People who go to church regularly were less likely to be prejudiced, Pyle said. The bad news is people with no religious affiliation were also much less likely to be prejudiced than individuals showing modest levels of commitment to their faith, those who attend services monthly or less.
Whoa. It’s “bad news” to discover that atheists and agnostics are more tolerant than modest church-goers? I guess it’s bad news for the church that’s trying to pretend they have the one true path to righteousness and goodness, but it sounds like good news for the people who are being discriminated against that there are many ways people can reduce their biases.
That is the goal, right?