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Thread: Religious Typology: a new way to categorise Americans by religion

  1. #1
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    4 out of 4 members found this post helpful.

    Post Religious Typology: a new way to categorise Americans by religion



    The Pew Research Center has published a new and revealing classification of religion in America. I am not going to copy the whole article here (9 long pages). Here are just a few charts to highlight the research and my comments.

    Here is a summary of the new classification. As you will see, these aren't arbitrary divisions. There are very fundamental differences in beliefs and values between each groups.



    You can see here the immense rift between the three types of devout Christians, the two types of somewhat religious people, and the two types of secular individuals. Answers to some questions between groups are as clear cut as 0% to 99%!! There were 4,729 respondents, so we can't blame the gaps on a too small sample size.



    In short, the Diversely Devouts, Spiritually Awake and Religion Resisters all share a belief in spiritual energy located in objects, psychics, astrology and reincarnation. None of the other groups believe in spiritual energy located in objects, except a minority of Sunday Stalwarts.

    Interestingly, the belief in spiritual energy located in objects is a defining characteristic of Animism, including Japanese Shintoism. Animism is the 'default' religion of humanity, found among all traditional hunter-gatherer societies. The Japanese hold mixed believes in Shintoism and Buddhism, two religions that can be considered Atheistic, and yet also believe in reincarnation through Buddhism. Therefore the Japanese would be categorised as Spiritually Awake, Religion Resisters or Solidly Secular, depending on their approach to Shinto-Buddhism.

    This chart clearly shows what divides each category.



    The single most important factor to be classified as 'Highly Religious' is to say that it is necessary to believe in God to be moral! None of the other groups hold such belief. That is scary as it reveals a deep, fundamental rift in the way Americans see morality and therefore also their most basic values controlling all their lives. About one in three Americans consider that people who do not believe in God are irrevocably immoral! That includes the vast majority of Japanese and Chinese people, and a very sizeable percentage of European and American society. Another chart shows that over two thirds of Sunday Stalwarts and God-and-Country believers think that homosexuality and abortion are morally wrong. Over half of them also think that the US government has made enough changes to give equal rights to black people. Three quarters of Sunday Stalwarts read scripture weekly and half say that religion is the single most important thing in their lives. Sunday Stalwarts are also the only group in which over half of the respondents (54%) believe that God talks back to them! Two thirds of highly religious people do not believe in global warming (see page 5). 25% of them think that even drinking alcohol is morally wrong.

    What differentiate the somewhat religious from the nonreligious is first and foremost that the former almost all believe in heaven and 78% also believe in hell. Yet only a bit over half of them believe in God as described in the Bible and less than half pray daily. These somewhat religious people rarely attend religious services, do not participate in church groups and do not derive much meaning or fulfilment from religion. But they believe in heaven and hell. In fact, nobody believes more in heaven than the Spiritually Awakes (98%), not even the devout Christians (94 to 97%).


    Now let's have a look at the demographics.















    Here is the most likely profile for each category:

    - Sunday Stalwarts : Older, lower and middle class, Republican-leaning white female

    - God-and-Country Believers : Older, lower and middle class, less educated, Republican-leaning white female

    - Diversely Devouts : poorer, less educated Black or Hispanic female (of all ages and slightly more ​Democratic-leaning)

    -------------

    - Relaxed Religious : lower and middle class people (slightly more white and Democratic-leaning, but both male and female)

    - Spiritually Awake : lower and middle class, Democratic-leaning white female

    -------------

    - Religion Resisters : young, educated, Democratic-leaning white female

    - Solidly Secular : young, wealthier, educated, Democratic-leaning white male
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    For things like race you have to look at the percentage of the different races in the society as a whole. More than 20% of the country isn't white.

    There just aren't that many people who make more than 75,000/yr. Still, one can see that 60% of highly religious people make more than 75,000 yr. compared to non-religious people with 76%. Then there are the somewhat religious to consider. It would be interesting to see it broken out regionally. The figures for the "left" coast, in particular, are going to be different even from the northeast I would think.

    It's odd that the totals are way over 100% if you include the somewhat religious.

    It would be interesting to know what kind of "objects" they're considering. I would bet that things like rosary beads, crucifixes, statues etc. are included. From personal experience I can tell you that people don't think they're miraculous; they just think they focus spiritual energy.

    As for education level, if someone under 40 today is still religious, especially Sunday observant religious, after the incredible proselytizing they endure from leftist professors they're the "faithful remnant" indeed. :)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    There just aren't that many people who make more than 75,000/yr. Still, one can see that 60% of highly religious people make more than 75,000 yr. compared to non-religious people with 76%. Then there are the somewhat religious to consider. It would be interesting to see it broken out regionally. The figures for the "left" coast, in particular, are going to be different even from the northeast I would think.

    It's odd that the totals are way over 100% if you include the somewhat religious.
    Actually the percentages only work horizontally, not vertically. If you make the total of the three categories of highly religious people who earn >$75,000, you have to divide the total by three. So it is only 20%. Likewise, the percentage of high earners is 30% for the somewhat religious, 39% for the nonreligious. It's a perfectly linear correlation. The more one earns (and that usually means more educated too), the less religious one is.

    I have seen many surveys about religiosity in European countries too, and the trend is always the same. Younger and more educated people are less religious. Men also tend to be less religious than women, but the gap isn't as big as for education levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Actually the percentages only work horizontally, not vertically. If you make the total of the three categories of highly religious people who earn >$75,000, you have to divide the total by three. So it is only 20%. Likewise, the percentage of high earners is 30% for the somewhat religious, 39% for the nonreligious. It's a perfectly linear correlation. The more one earns (and that usually means more educated too), the less religious one is.

    I have seen many surveys about religiosity in European countries too, and the trend is always the same. Younger and more educated people are less religious. Men also tend to be less religious than women, but the gap isn't as big as for education levels.
    Yes, I see that.

    The percentages in terms of the population are quite interesting too. Both the Sunday Stalwarts and the Solidly Secular are 17% of the population.

    Interestingly, the God and country right wing religious and the Democratic leftist religious resisters also have the exact same percentage of the pie: 11%. The former are probably heavily Southern or at least conservative Protestant in orientation. The latter skew female and are probably driven by concerns about abortion and birth control. I bet there is a skew in terms of homosexuals as well. Those are the most vociferous "anti-religion" people in America.

    Once again, about 1/3 is in the middle, 40% are highly religious, and 29% non-religious.

    Interesting how reincarnation, which is religious dogma in so much of the world, is only considered vaguely "new agey" here.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Pew Research Company loves to do research on religion. Ahead of the mid-term elections in the U.S., here is another one. It's quite interesting, because it breaks down the data in many different ways, and so it better reflects the reality. There's also an interactive map by geography, which is fun.
    http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

    A few thoughts:
    Except for a few places in California and the Pacific Northwest, where it reaches 15%, atheists and agnostics only constitute about 7% of the population.

    In certain religions it skews male, as in Buddhists (actually mostly young and white), Jews, and Muslims. The rest skew a bit but not much female.

    The income, education statistics etc. for Catholics skew the way that they do because about 1/3 of U.S. Catholics are Latino.

    There's a lot of other information in there for data mining.

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