Last week while I was away, Tobin Grant linked to something interesting: new research, based on 40 years of General Social Surveys, that echoes Grant's own parsing of Pew's Religious Landscapes Survey.
How do American people-of-faith feel about American people-of-different-faith? The Pew Forum has a new polling report on this question. It seems Catholics have a slightly higher view of Jews than vice versa, while white evangelicals' view of Jews is much higher than Jews' view of evangelicals. White mainline Protestants have moderately positive views of Jews, Catholic, and evangelicals, while the opposite is.... Huh, okay.
For about a month, there has been an ongoing discussion about the term “mainline.” I refuse to use it because it doesn't adequately reflect the diversity of our social justice influences.
I am tired of pretending that we want to hang out at the country club and eat cucumber sandwiches in fancy hats. We are not some sort of upper-crust elite society. Now, it's time to discard that tired label that ties us too closely with a particular race and class. It's time to call forth another name.
What we read matters. But what should we read? Matthew Hedstrom describes Protestant angst amid the information overload of the early 20th century.
The reevaluation of liberal Protestantism and its real but perhaps overstated decline—a topic that the Century has covered with this review, and related commentary by Martin Marty and by John Buchanan—was picked up by the New York Times this week. The Times story does a decent job summarizing the debate, in which the overarching question is posed by historian David Hollinger (interviewed by the Century last year): Did liberal Protestants of midcentury win the culture war but lose the church?
In this world of constant change, one thing remains predictable: the WSJ will never miss an opportunity to bash mainline churches.