This is the chp some of you are waiting for. In this chp, Brad Wright examines the big one: Are Christians loving?
And I’m going to depart from normal custom and give the results first:
When it comes to measures of love and compassion, Christians do well compared to society. They are neighborly, forgiving, and care for the poor. Church attendance increases the numbers for each.
But, Christians, esp Evangelicals, don’t do well when it comes to accepting minorities, — racial and sexual — as well as the rest of society. The attitudes of both are doing better over time, but the youth of this generation seem to be the vanguard for new changes.
To figure this out, he found sociological studies that asked the following sorts of questions: Do Christians interact with their neighbors? Do Christians act virtuously? Do Christians love members of other groups? I’d say those are good indicator questions.
Interact with neighbor: Prots do well, then Catholics, then unaffiliated, then other religions.
Care for the poor etc: Evangs (40%), Black Prots (45), Mainline (26), RCC (30), unaffiliated (25).
Feelings for rich and poor: most show same variation between those two groups, but when it comes to poor, we’ve got this:
Other religions: 67
Race, and this disappoints, on an 8-pt warm scale:
Evangelicals: Whites (7.2), Blacks (6.1), Asians (6.0), Hispanics (6.1).
Other religions are better for each category.
The unaffiliated are better for each category.
Evangelicals: 79 always wrong, 2% almost always wrong, 4%sometimes wrong, 14% not wrong.
But this is also a moral issue for which religious people have little grey area. The issue also involves permission of gay or lesbian to give a speech in a community. Evangelicals have gone from 52% to about 27% disapproval rate since 1975. Young people in each group show marked differences on race and issues around homosexuality.