America on Buddhism — More Popular Than Evangelicals

The Pew Research Religion & Public Life Project has a new poll out revealing how Americans feel about various religious traditions. The “mean thermometer rating,” meaning how groups ranked among all respondents, was:

Americans' Ratings of Religious Groups

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I take it from this that Protestant Christians who are not evangelicals are now officially chopped liver. But congratulations to Judaism!

Notice that if you take out the respondents ranking of their own traditions, on the right hand side of the chart, Catholics and Evangelicals drop a few percentage points, and evangelicals actually dip to 4th place just behind Buddhists. We’re Number Three! We’re Number Three!

Pew says that evangelicals made up about 32 percent of the respondents, and they tended to rank themselves highly, but also they tend to be unpopular with other groups. Buddhists got their highest popularity points from Agnostics and Atheists, thank you, although Jews think we’re okay, too. We are most unpopular with white evangelicals. Buddhism also is seen more favorably by younger people than by older ones, which isn’t too surprising.

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