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Pew’s latest survey of
views on Islam and violence demonstrates again the degree to which
white evangelicals stand apart from the other large religious groupings
in American society. The question is whether or not you think the
“Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence.” The
overall numbers haven’t changed much since 2003, now showing a slight
plurality who don’t think so.
Other than white evangelicals, the splits run from mainline Protestants,
who are evenly divided, to the “unaffiliated,” who by 56-30 think that
Islam is not more likely to encourage violence. White Catholics fall in
between, 46-39. African-Americans are about where the unaffiliated are;
Hispanics, where the mainliners are.)
And then there are the white evangelicals, who by 60-24 go the other
way. They are the outliers on the spectrum, but there are a lot of them.
Not surprisingly, their numbers mirror those of two other demographic
groups: conservative Republicans and those who “agree with the Tea
Party.” Just in case you were wondering what that hearing in Washington yesterday was about.