A NEW Pew survey shows that while 67 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning respondents believe colleges and universities are a positive force in US society, only 33 percent of Republicans said likewise
And while only 38 percent of Democrats think that churches good for America, 68 percent of Republicans said churches influenced the culture in a positive manner, a slight decrease from the 73 percent who said so in 2017.
Taken together, the survey shows that 52 percent of Americans regard churches and religious organisaations as positive, a drop from 59 percent from two years ago.
The now 30-point gap between the parties on the subject reflects stark partisan divide over the role of religion in American life.
The survey was conducted last month and was comprised of 1,502 adults aged 18 and over from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The institution that received the lowest numbers from both Republicans and Democrats was the national news media. Thirty-eight percent of Democrat survey respondents said the media impacted society in a positive way. Only 10 percent of Republicans said the same.The findings come on the heels of those from another in-depth survey that Pew conducted earlier this year on social trust and the reliability of all kinds of social and political institutions, the results of which were published July 22.
The researchers found that approximately two-thirds of adults think Americans have little to no confidence in the federal government. Only 50 percent indicated that they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence that religious leaders would act in the best interest of the public.
Partisan differences also show up in the levels of trust extended toward various kinds of leaders, including the military, religious leaders and business leaders (groups toward whom Republicans are more favorable than Democrats) as well as scientists, public school principals, college professors and journalists (groups that generally enjoy more confidence among Democrats than among Republicans).