Thursday, December 19, 2013

Trust in Clergy At All Time Low

 
Gallup has just published its annual survey on how Americans view various professions, and the results are not pretty for clergy: Americans rating of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy is at an all time low.

Kate Tracy  at Christianity Today offers some thoughts:

In fact, recorded public trust in clergy has now reached an all-time low, with only 47 percent of Americans rating clergy highly on honesty and ethics (compared to 82 percent saying the same about nurses). The previous low since Gallup began asking the question in 1977: 50 percent in 2009.

However, clergy still ranked No. 7 out of the 22 professions studied. And confidence in the overall church as an institution improved over the past year.
.  .  .
Americans are divided along party lines, as well as age. Gallup found more trust in clergy among Republicans (63%) than Democrats (40%). Similarly, clergy members appear more trustworthy to older Americans than millennials: half of Americans older than age 55 trust clergy members, while only 32 percent of millennials (18 to 34 years) report the same.

But the Gallup survey wasn't all bad news for religion in America. When asked how much confidence Americans have in U.S. institutions, 48 percent responded saying they had a "great deal/quite a bit" in "the church or organized religion," a four percent increase since 2012. Only 34 percent said the same about the U.S. Supreme Court, which decreased by three percent since 2012. 
Read it all here. Gallup attributes the drop in recent years to the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal in the early 2000's.  I wonder there is more going on.  As more people become "unchurched", wouldn't we expect their view of the clergy to go down?  What do you think?
 

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