Racially friendly denominations may surprise you

A sociologist tested what denominations were most open to new people from different races.  His team sent e-mails purportedly from whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians to different churches, asking the pastors about attending their church.

Evangelicals overwhelmingly answered the e-mails and encouraged the new people, of whatever race, to attend.   Mainline liberal denominations, on the other hand, for all of their emphasis on social justice, were not nearly so welcoming.  Catholics didn’t do so well either.

Interestingly, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, classified with the “evangelicals,” came in at second place in welcoming people of different races (after Willow Creek).  The much more liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, however, came in third from the bottom.

Why do you think this is?

HT:  tODD

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Poll on gay marriage shows surprising results

An Associated Press poll on gay marriage shows a sharply and almost evenly-divided country when it comes to gay marriage, with a strong majority saying that religious liberty should trump gay rights when there is a conflict.  Support for gay marriage is actually down from what it was before the Supreme Court ruling, suggesting that the gay triumphalists who sought to demonize and punish conscientious objectors may have overplayed their hand.

In April, 48% of Americans were in favor of gay marriage.  Three weeks after the ruling, the number declined to 42%.  But 40% of Americans do not approve.  And 59% of Americans believe that religious liberty should take precedence over gay rights.

UPDATE:   Here are the full poll results.

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“Nones” are fine with denominations

Contrary to the common assumption, “Nones”–people with no religious preference–have positive feelings about most Christian denominations and denominations in general, according to a LifeWay study.

The most favorable impressions among non-believers are Baptists and Catholics.  Baptists scored 61% favorable, 19% unfavorable, and 20% not familiar enough to have an opinion.  Catholics scored 57% favorable, 23% unfavorable, and 20% not familiar enough.

Lutherans (46% favorable, 22% unfavorable, 33% not familiar enough) were down on the list, third from the bottom, with Pentecostals (38% favorable, 27% unfavorable, 35% not familiar enough) coming in with the lowest numbers.

See details after the jump and go to the link for another interesting category:  “not for me.” [Read more...]

Germany is demographically doomed

The “baby bust” in Germany is so severe that the country is unlikely to retain its current economic dominance.  The population is expected to drop from 81 million to 67 million by 2060.  That big of a drop in both the job market and in the consumer market will be devastating to the German economy.  England and France are in much better demographic shape. [Read more...]

Psychology studies too reliant on college students

The field of experimental psychology operates mostly in research universities.  So their test subjects tend to be 20-something-undergraduates volunteering for research projects to get extra credit.  That is not the world’s most representative population.  (I volunteered for some of those experiments myself, and I remember how seriously I took them, which was not very.)  A few years ago, the profession began to realize that this bias can skew research findings. [Read more...]

America’s most “churchless” and “dechurched” cities

The Barna group has data about which American cities are the most “unchurched,” breaking that category down further into “churchless” (people never having been involved in a church) and “dechurched” (people who used to be involved in a church but aren’t now).

English teacher that I am, I disapprove of the twisted grammar that went into those terms–using the noun “church” as a verb so as to add -ed to it, making it a past participle, and then using that as a noun again. But I’ll let that go.  I sample some of the findings after the jump.

At the link, for $99, you can buy a detailed study of individual American cities, showing the religious breakdown, the denominational percentages, and other useful demographic information. [Read more...]


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