Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just the Facts, Ma'am

From an article by Marcia Ford on the most recent Pew Survey:

"The Pew survey not only asks highly specific and carefully worded questions but also asks participants to provide detailed information about themselves. Demographic breakdowns go well beyond, say, the evangelical/mainline divide to subgroups such as Baptists in the evangelical tradition, the mainline tradition, or the historically black church traditions; mainline Christians who pray daily and regularly attend church services; and Catholics who consider religion to be very important in their lives."

*Seventy to 87 percent of all Christians expressed dissatisfaction with the political system and the direction the country is taking. Imagine what we could accomplish if we turned that level of dissatisfaction into action.

*Even though 48 percent of evangelicals prefer a smaller government that provides fewer services, 57 percent believe the government should do more to help the poor, even if it means going into debt. That may seem incongruous, but I don't think it is. To me, it indicates that evangelicals place a higher value on helping the poor than on some other governmental services.

*Fifty-four percent of evangelicals believe stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost. That's compared to 64 percent of mainline respondents, which dispels the long-held myth that mainliners and evangelicals are clearly divided on this issue.

*While only 48 percent of evangelicals favor diplomacy over military strength as a means of ensuring peace, I have to believe that's an improvement. (38 percent favor military might over diplomacy, with 16 percent responding "neither," "both," or "don't know.")

*The gap between evangelicals and mainline Christians is also much narrower than was once the case with regard to foreign affairs. Fifty-four percent of evangelicals and 52 percent of mainliners believe we should pay more attention to domestic problems than to international problems.


arduous said...

Very interesting. It's too bad the media chooses to focus on the wedge issues and can't focus on the stuff that binds us all together....

Joyce said...

Yes, Arduous, I think the media are a big problem. While I know that surveys aren't perfect, I do like it when there are some facts to look at, instead conjecture.

eco 'burban mom said...

And, I always wonder just exactly where they get their survey participants. I mean, I have never been surveyed. Have you?!?

Joyce said...

EBM-I have been surveyed acouple of times, though I can''t remember who exactly it was that did the survey. Both times it was about my opinion on certain issues and candidates, but I had the feeling it was "push polling", where things were phrased so that you would start to lean toward some certain candidate (don't even remember who!). I get kind of crotchety when they do that. But the Pew research is pretty well respected. I just thought it was kind of interesting.