2018 American Values Survey: Politics
Research from the annual PRRI survey shows a deeply divided, highly partisan, country.
One of the fascinating parts of the study is that if you accept that there is a an identifiable group that can be labeled “white evangelical Protestants”, a window is opened on how this group thinks and votes.
It stands out as unique in some ways.
I wish they had a category for “old, white, Anglicans” so I didn’t feel so alone…
A few highlights…
Opinion of Trump
“With the unique exception of white evangelical Protestants, majorities of all other major religious groups have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. Majorities of black Protestants (80%), religiously unaffiliated Americans (75%), Hispanic Catholics (74%), non-Christian religious Americans (73%), white mainline Protestants (52%), and white Catholics (52%) have a negative opinion of Trump. By contrast, almost seven in ten (68%) white evangelical Protestants have a favorable view of Trump, including 28% who have a very favorable view.”
Sexual assault in the church
“With the exception of white evangelical Protestants, Americans from different religious traditions generally agree that churches and places of worship are not responding well to issues of sexual harassment and assault. Majorities of religiously unaffiliated Americans (82%), Hispanic Catholics (63%), white mainline Protestants (59%), and white Catholics (55%) say that churches and religious institutions are handling these issues poorly, compared to just four in ten (40%) white evangelical Protestants. Six in ten (60%) white evangelical Protestants believe churches and places of worship are handling these issues well.”
Is America a Christian nation?
“Four in ten (40%) Americans say that America has always been and is currently a Christian nation, while nearly as many (38%) say that America was a Christian nation in the past but is not now. Almost one in five (19%) say that America has never been a Christian nation.
Among Americans who believe that America was once a Christian nation but is not now, most say that this development is a bad thing for the country. More than six in ten (63%) Americans who say that America was previously a Christian nation but is not now believe that this is generally a bad thing, while about one-third (36%) say it is generally a good thing.
There are strong partisan divides on this issue. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that America has always been and currently is a Christian nation (54% vs. 37%). By contrast, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say that America has never been a Christian nation (26% vs. 3%).
Compared to two years ago, Republicans are more likely now to say that America always has been and continues to be a Christian nation. In 2016, about four in ten (44%) Republicans said that American has always been and currently remains a Christian nation, while a slim majority (51%) said that America was a Christian nation in the past but is not currently. Views among Democrats have not shifted significantly in that time.”
Many Christian Americans say that America has always been and continues to be a Christian nation. About half of white Catholics (53%), Hispanic Protestants (50%), white evangelical Protestants (48%), Hispanic Catholics (47%), and white mainline Protestants (44%) hold this view. Less than four in ten (38%) black Protestants and just 28% of religiously unaffiliated Americans say that America was previously and still remains a Christian nation. Nearly four in ten (38%) religiously unaffiliated Americans say that America has never been a Christian nation.
There’s a ton of info in the article…a summary is here as well…
Why did the research seem to lump black and Hispanic protestants together while parsing out white *Evangelical* protestants? What are the numbers for black and Hispanic Evangelical protestants? I know the numbers are slim, but they are there.
From what I know, the majority of black and hispanic Christians don’t think of themselves as “evangelicals.” That’s why you see the categories of black Protestant, Hispanic Protestant and Hispanic Catholic.
White evangelicalism is a unique and, well, white phenomenon. Historically it started after World War II, folks like Harold Ockenga and Carl Henry. They were unhappy with the simplicity of fundamentalism but wary of “mainline” Protestantism.
Ah, thanks for the input!