July 7, 2012

"The survey found that 74 percent of black women and 70 percent of black men said that 'living a religious life' is very important."

"On that same question, the number falls to 57 percent of white women and 43 percent of white men."

So not only is there less religion among the white people, there's a much larger gender gap.

The linked article — in the Washington Post — concentrates on how religious black women are, but I'm noticing how religious black men are. Casual observation of life in the United States has made us think women are much more religious than men. I'm surprised to see how close the percentages are for black people. The 57%/43% gap — which the poll shows among white people — comes much closer to what I would expect.

ADDED: I'm looking at the poll details, and it's interesting to see the differences in how satisfied people are with their lives.  The most satisfied people are the white women. 90% say they are very or somewhat satisfied. Next come the white men, with 86%, and the black women with 85%. Last, but not far behind, are the black men at 83%. I'm surprised so many people are satisfied!

68 comments:

ndspinelli said...

I'm guessing the few black folk you know are upper class educational people, secular progressives. We know a lot of regular black folk and the report is not @ all surprising to me or my bride. Why do you think Obama went to church? He wanted to get out of the elitist black demographic you know, and appear regular like the folks we know.

ndspinelli said...

The male/female gap in white churchgoers doesn't surprise me. Moms are often the ones who introduce the kids to church and are the ones who take them.

Paul said...

Someone alert Bill Maher.

Of course black people are given a pass by anti-religious bigots like Maher because deep down he thinks of them as less competent and responsible than white people, needing the guidance and forbearance of white liberals like himself.

Thomas Sowell gets it right when he refers to victim groups like blacks as liberal's "mascots".

Ross said...

Hmm... I found this poll very curious. I have always heard that blacks are more religious. But unfortunately, that doesn't translate to families remaining together. I know statistics on the black community are depressing but I was shocked that government statistics report 72 percent of black children are born to unmarried mothers. I wish reality correlated with this poll.

http://www.theroot.com/buzz/72-percent-african-american-children-born-unwed-mothers

Ann Althouse said...

@ndspinelli The only thing I expressed surprise about is that the gender gap among black people is so small, so I don't understand your comments at all.

Please explain or say you read me wrong.

traditionalguy said...

The power of the Christian religion]s message to re-create a slave's negative self image into a positive self image is nothing to ba ashamed of or sniffed at. That's a fact.

The Christian message is sweeping China to an amazing degree today. The Chinese are responding to the good news that their identity is good in God's eyes. Meanwhile the Communist Party in China is quaking in their boots over losing control over the minds of their slaves.

Ann Althouse said...

And everybody I know is middle class.

Ann Althouse said...

Just about.

William said...

Women are more likely than men to lie about their religious beliefs. Probably blacks are also more likely than whites to lie about such feelings. This survey gives a more accurate picture of religious hypocrisy than religious belief.

leslyn said...

Probably blacks are also more likely than whites to lie about such feelings.

Why is that, WIlliam?

Erika said...

Anecdotally: I spent the day in downtown San Antonio yesterday showing an out of state visitor the sights, and there happened to be a large gathering, entitled "World Discipleship Summit 2012: On the Mountain of the Lord" taking place at the Gonzalez convention center. The conventioneers absolutely flooded the area [mildly annoying; the Rivercenter mall, every restaurant and the Alamo plaza were difficult to access] and I was interested to note that a very large proportion of them were young black men. It was nice to see! I'm a white Catholic, living in an area that's almost exclusively Anglos and Hispanics, so I don't have much personal experience with the relationship black people (men and women) have with their church. In my own personal experience women are more involved and more serious about their faith, so it's always nice to see when men make their faith the center of their lives.

William said...

I would say the number of gays in the Moslem and Christian communities is about the same. I would say that the number of people who acknowledge themselves to be gay would be much higher in the Christian community.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Casual observation of life in the United States has made us think women are much more religious than men. I'm surprised to see how close the percentages are for black people.

Because when someone talks about "people" they are often unknowingly talking about "white people".

ndspinelli said...

I was just wearing my Althouse hat this morning. You were unclear in your first sentence. It certainly could be read that you were expressing some surprise @ the gap between races. I'll take you @ your word that's not what you meant, and knowing you, I don't expect you to give an inch.

Regarding the small male/female gap in black churches, I surmise it's because of very strong male preachers. We went to the ordination of a friend and not only is he dynamic, so were the other preachers there. The minister @ my bride's church[black/male] is quite dynamic and is bringing in more men in a pretty white congregation. With certainly a few exceptions, white clergy are pretty bland and don't appeal to men. And, many of the Catholic priests are pretty gay.

leslyn said...

William said... "I would say the number of gays in the Moslem and Christian communities is about the same. I would say that the number of people who acknowledge themselves to be gay would be much higher in the Christian community."

Duh.

AllenS said...

Unfortunately, most black churches are run by people like pastor Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. A church frequented by the Obamas. A church filled with hate.

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

Jason (the commenter) said... Casual observation of life in the United States has made us think women are much more religious than men. I'm surprised to see how close the percentages are for black people.

"Because when someone talks about "people" they are often unknowingly talking about "white people"."

Both hands clapping.

Ann Althouse said...

"Unfortunately, most black churches are run by people like pastor Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. A church frequented by the Obamas. A church filled with hate."

Read the details of the survey and you'll see it doesn't bear out the stereotype you are assuming. Look at the questions that go into whether people feel disrespected or ill-treated about race and so forth. You'll see that views across the 4 groups are not all that different and are pretty moderate.

leslyn said...

An interesting poll would be to ask commoners here how satisfied they are with their life.

Heh.

Shanna said...

This tracks for me. I have two black coworkers in the office with me (male and female) and they listen to nothing but gospel on the radio.

leslyn said...

Excuse me. "Commenters!" (not "commoners"). :o

Roger J. said...

having absolutely no research upon which to base my opinion, my anecdotal experience in Memphis (70 percent black) says that it is indeed the women who attend church. Young black males, infrequently. Older black males with a stable relationship attend with their wives. And good on both of them :)

leslyn said...

I am envious of Church Lady hats.

I love Church Lady hats.

Even in my black/white/hispanic/Jewish congregation there are Church Lady hats only at Easter.

Michael K said...

""Unfortunately, most black churches are run by people like pastor Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago."

I think that church and the pastor were catering to a specific subgroup. The attendees seem to be successful blacks who want to express some sort of victimhood that their lives would not support. They are so much more comfortable than the majority of blacks in the city of Chicago, that they have guilty feelings. There are few blacks that spend much time in the ghetto once they don't have to. It is convenient for them to have someone to blame for the plight of their racial cohort.

What I know of black society, while quite limited, suggests that it has been matriarchal for quite a while.

Bender said...

Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Maguro said...

We need Andy R to venture into a few of these black churches and let the parishoners know what a stupid fairy tale religion is.

He'd be doing them a favor, really!

YoungHegelian said...

The embarrassing question that never gets asked of black Christians is "Do you believe in evolution?" because the reporters asking the question really don't want to know the answer.

Black churches are theologically the same as their white fundamentalist or evangelical (two very different movements) cohorts, and see as little use for evolution in their "Bible centered" faith as do whites.

There is also the still painful memory of Darwinism being used to justify beliefs in the racial inferiority of blacks (e.g. the belief that blacks really were closer to apes & monkeys than white people).

ndspinelli said...

AllenS, I am as certain as I can be, w/o actually attending 70-80% of all black churches, that you're flat ass wrong. But, Wright is the only black minister many people have ever been exposed to and you are not alone in your belief. Wright did much more damage to truly good black clergy than he did to Obama.

ndspinelli said...

leslyn, A few years back we went to a wedding @ an AME Church in Maywood, Il. The bride was a coworker of my brides. Her dad was the pastor of this very large congregation and he had died just a year or so prior to the wedding. You should have seen the hats @ that 400 person wedding.

The reception was @ a large hall. It was a buffet and it took forever for the line to move. There was no alcohol @ this wedding, just pitchers of lemonade and iced tea on the table. I had to urinate and when I walk into the bathroom there was all the older black guys w/ pints of whiskey, gin, rum, etc. I saw the protocol was to take a swig and clean off the mouth of the bottle w/ your sleeve, which I glady did.

cassandra lite said...

"The most satisfied people are the white women. 90% say they are very or somewhat satisfied."

Someone call Petraeus. The War on Women requires a surge.

West Town said...

Ann, could the lower gap have to do with sect? Let's talk about sects.

Roger J. said...

There are stores in Memphis that cater to church attire for black ladies--hats and beautiful dresses--worn only to church but to church every sunday--the really good stuff they save for easter

leslyn said...

ndspinelli:

Something about your wedding post makes me think of a more realistic heaven.

Ipso Fatso said...

@ndspinelli. He wanted to get out of the elitist black demographic you know, and appear regular like the folks we know.

Sorry spinelli you are wrong. Trinity United is a very elitist chruch and is attended by the creme of black society in Chicago. It is anything but a typical store front church on the southside. I was in the neighborhood last Sunday when they let out and I followed a number of late model Mercedes, Jags, etc down 95th Street. Hey they gave Wright a million dollar homje as his retirement pad. You are right about black preachers in general. Wright gave them a bad name.

leslyn said...

Roger J,

I've recently started receiving a Church Lady catalog in the mail. I pore over it as lovingly as I did the Sears Christmas catalog when I was a kid.

Ipso Fatso said...

As for black women that go to church, I remember driving around the southside several years ago on Easter Sunday and the outfits that the women wore were amazing and beautiful. The guys looked great too. It was as if I was in a different world.

Ralph L said...

government statistics report 72 percent of black children are born to unmarried mothers
Since they also have an outsized proportion of abortions, it appears some people have a rather lax idea of what a religious life entails--or that other 25% are really busy.

chickelit said...

Maguro said...
We need Andy R to venture into a few of these black churches and let the parishoners know what a stupid fairy tale religion is.

Andy R is two-faced enough to change that tune in those circumstances. He's only interested in the demise of white Christianity.

edutcher said...

Given the illegitimacy rate among blacks is 73%, someone somewhere isn't being entirely honest with the pollsters.

Either that or, when they say, "'living a religious life' is very important", they're speaking in the theoretical sense.

rick said...

My daughter and her husband (both Caucasian) lived and worked in DC about 8 years ago. They were the only whites in their church. When my grand son was born, my spouse and went down for the baptismal service.

The preacher did preach from the Bible (hooray), but frequently spiced up his sermon with mildly anti-white references. We were treated with dignity and respect, but to me, his comments were completely out of place and uncalled for. It would not have been a great leap for him to go into a Jeremiah Wright rant.

JAL said...

Yeah. A lot of this class warfare tripe hasn't undone as many of us as the haters want.

Wally Kalbacken said...

edutcher said...

Given the illegitimacy rate among blacks is 73%, someone somewhere isn't being entirely honest with the pollsters.


Bingo! A very large aspiration vs. reality gap.

JAL said...

The internet tech guy who came to reset my thunderstorm blasted system the other day was a big pleasant black guy who confided one of his (not critical) passwords was "God is good all the time."

I said "Amen."

If it somes down to Obama or God? God is going to win.

JAL said...

And yes, Obama joined a church to improve his cred with the black community.

Was advised to do so by the Alinsky acolytes who mentored him.

Hagar said...

Obama attended Jeremia Wright's church for 20 years and claimed that he had never heard any of all that.
I guess it is not unusual for people to go to church and cry amen to sermons they did not hear what was said - their actions during the week certainly do not show that any of it was absorbed -but the "Black Liberation" churches surely must be rather extreme examples of the phenomenon.

David R. Graham said...

"This survey gives a more accurate picture of religious hypocrisy than religious belief."

Thank you. I was searching, unsuccessfully, to find a way to say that. You succeeded. The survey measures, if anything, the load of Althousian bullshit Americans carry around, without pay, and dish out, without punishment. Slaves to our own pretensions.

God alone can say to whom religion is important, and, if so many are content, news and blogs would not exist. Economics measures desire, which starts as discontent. Without discontent, life would cease. Saying you're content is bullshit.

Maguro said...

Andy R is two-faced enough to change that tune in those circumstances. He's only interested in the demise of white Christianity.

No way, man. Andy R. could be the guy who finally convinces black America that there is no God.

His sideways ballcap gives him that much "street cred" with the brothas and sistahs.

Go for it, Andy! You can do it!

David R. Graham said...

"Given the illegitimacy rate among blacks is 73%, someone somewhere isn't being entirely honest with the pollsters.

Either that or, when they say, "'living a religious life' is very important", they're speaking in the theoretical sense."

Exactly.

John M Auston said...

The only religious survey that would be worth a damn is one that measured how often one behaved in accordance with one's particular religion's tenants.

Absent that, this is just a survey detailing things about people that have in common that they visit particular buildings on particular days, and/or that have particular perceptions about themselves that need not have any tether to the actual case.

Meh.

David R. Graham said...

"And yes, Obama joined a church to improve his cred with the black community.

Was advised to do so by the Alinsky acolytes who mentored him."

Those Alinsky acolytes are monied, positioned and often Muslim Brotherhood and their allies. Not the Alinsky acolytes of yore. These modern ones still aim at shakedown and takedown but of a different and larger set of far larger targets. Now it's not companies, it's nation states.

smarty said...

Yet when you look at criminality and out of wedlock births, abortion support, that black religious "fervor" doesn't translate well into actions.

Rusty said...

You mean when the lefties complain about religion thet are referring to black people?
Racists.

YoungHegelian said...

I think the folks on this board who are claiming that black folks are hypocritical because their actions fall short of Christian standards are being way too harsh.

For one, no one in the black Christian community is claiming sainthood. They would all admit to being sinners, as St. Paul would say, "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God". And just as it is the sick who needs the doctor, it is sinners who need ministering to, and the gift of God's grace.

Also remember that in the low church Protestant religious tradition, one's salvation is attained not by good acts, but by God's grace alone, often in a more or less instantaneous salvific experience that leaves the believer with conscious knowledge of his elect status. While a more strongly Calvinist tradition would insist on seeing a lifetime of good acts as the true fruits of a salvific experience, I imagine many day to day evangelical churches are not so soteriologically fussy.

For a good musical setting of this theology, take a listen here.

Bender said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

Apparently you completely misunderstand smarty.

To add to YH, there is a Catholic saying that can be applied to Christendom generally, the Church is not a hotel for saints, but a hospital for sinners.

It is not that the religious are therefore better than others, but that the lowly and sinful are more religious because they are all the more in need of healing and salvation.

Those who think themselves inherently good and perfect have, in their prideful state, no need for a savior. Rather, it is those who are humble enough to know their own lowliness (the poor in spirit) who recognize their need for God. And, thus, it is for this reason that the latter, sinners though they be, are blessed, while the former, the "rich in spirit," condemn themselves by their arrogant pride.

yashu said...

"Regarding the small male/female gap in black churches, I surmise it's because of very strong male preachers."

Young Hegelian and Bender are on point re the accusation of hypocrisy. Church is for sinners, not saints.

cathy said...

I think men convert their sense of religion to living by a code of what is good and don't define that in terms classified as religious. Women have more a sense of a relationship with God, and that is clearly defined as religious.

ndspinelli said...

Where I grew up, and when we lived in KC and Chicago, there were a good cross section of minorities, including black folk. There were upper middle class to ghetto, w/ the majority being middle class and blue collar, just like my family. Living in Madison, there are the few black elitists and an increasing number of ghetto families that have moved here from other cities, mostly Chicago. Both the black and white elitists are clueless @ how to deal w/ this. It is rapidly changing Madison and because of pc nobody speaks honestly about it.

I just say to those who point out the illegitimacy rate, crime, etc. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. However, they do not represent the majority of black people. This permanent underclass are cannon fodder for Dems, white and black elitists. For the most part, ghetto blacks prey on other blacks. Like the good black ministers who were victims of Rev. Wright, middle class blacks are victims and ashamed of this underclass. Unfortunately, too many white folk just don't know the many good, hardworking, black families out there. But they are out there, and I generally find them more interesting, fun loving, and real than many white folk.

John M Auston said...

However, they do not represent the majority of black people.

Better go look up the word "majority". I think you'll find it means the opposite of your assertion.

leslyn said...

YH,

Loved the clip!

I know a priest who would have to agree with it though. He was a choir director (though unbeliever) when, one evening while listening to a concert--"I was converted." He still speaks of it with a kind of stunned acceptance.

rcocean said...

I seem to be the only white person who thinks it odd that white folks are always talking about black folks.

Evidently, caring about black folks -and telling them what's good for them- makes you a superior white person.

For some reason.

The Crack Emcee said...

"The survey found that 74 percent of black women and 70 percent of black men said that 'living a religious life' is very important."

Then they went back to killing each other.

Spare me.

rcocean,

I seem to be the only white person who thinks it odd that white folks are always talking about black folks.

I'm glad to hear there's even one.

Evidently, caring about black folks -and telling them what's good for them- makes you a superior white person.

Only in their own eyes, my friend, only in their own eyes. I keep telling them to send money, but they give that to either politicians or homeless drug addicts, to show how much they "care."

For some reason.

For some reason.

ndspinelli said...

This blog needs more blacks than just Crack. Of course, they won't buy any books on Amazon.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dante said...

I was wondering how this could be true:

"Science: People Who Believe in Heaven More Likely to Commit Crime?"

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/science-people-who-believe-in-heaven-more-likely-to-commit-crime

The Crack Emcee said...

Dante,

I was wondering how this could be true:

"Science: People Who Believe in Heaven More Likely to Commit Crime?"


"If you're doing business with a religious son-of-a-bitch, get it in writing. His word isn't worth shit. Not with the good lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal."

-- William S. Burroughs

DEEBEE said...

Sigh! would never see a book modelled after "What's wrong with Kansas"