Main | Monday, March 08, 2010

Racism Tied To Religiosity

A study just published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review concludes that racism is not only more prevalent in Christian communities than in the general population, its incidence rises in correlation to a religious group's dogmatism. The Center For Inquiry breaks it down:

The February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review has published a meta-analysis of 55 independent studies conducted in the United States which considers surveys of over 20,000 mostly Christian participants. Religious congregations generally express more prejudiced views towards other races. Furthermore, the more devout the community, the greater the racism. We also read this additional fascinating conclusion from the authors' summary:

"The authors failed to find that racial tolerance arises from humanitarian values, consistent with the idea that religious humanitarianism is largely expressed to in-group members. Only religious agnostics were racially tolerant."
Is this a surprising result? Humanistic values, such as equal dignity and rights for all humanity, are often professed by many Christian denominations. But does this preaching make any difference to their members' actual prejudices? Apparently not!
There's a PDF link to the complete report if you'd like to see the mechanics of the study, but unfortunately it's subscriber-only.

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