Barna Group: Woodstock generation applauds Christians’ morals and values
Baby boomers–the generation of Woodstock, sex, drugs and divorce–is the generation that most highly applauds Christians for the morals and values that they stand for, a recent survey says.
This is one of the findings revealed by a nationwide survey from The Barna Group. The survey was open-ended, meaning there were no multiple choices involved, and respondents answered the questions spontaneously.
The two questions asked were: What were the recent positive contributions of Christianity, and what were the recent negative contributions of Christianity. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews (including 125 cell phones) of a random sample of 1,000 adults across the U.S., age 18 and above, from August 16-22. It has a 3.2 percent margin of error.
Most respondents (25 percent) couldn’t mention any recent positive contribution made by Christians. Of the total, skeptics ranked highest (34%), followed by the unchurched (33%) and Independent voters (29%).
The most frequently-mentioned positive contribution of Christians was helping the poor and underprivileged, cited by one out of every five adults (19 percent). Of the total, 34 percent were age 25 and under. This was followed by socio-political liberals (29 percent), blacks (28 percent), evangelicals (11 percent) and socio-political conservatives (11 percent) the website said.
The second highest contribution mentioned was sharing Jesus Christ. Overall, this was cited by one of six adults (16 percent). Of the total, it was mostly mentioned by Protestant adults (26 percent), followed by evangelicals (25 percent), non-evangelical born again Christians (23 percent), and Catholics (11 percent).
One out of every ten adults (11%) said Christianity made no positive contributions. This was mostly mentioned by skeptics (27 percent) followed by those of other faiths (23%), the survey showed.
One out of five Americans said the most negative contribution of Christians to the U.S. was violence or hatred in the name of Jesus Christ. This was mostly mentioned by non-Christian faiths (35%) and by evangelicals (31%).
The second most negative contribution mentioned was opposition of Christians to gay marriage. Adults aged 25 or younger were twice as likely as other Americans to mention this. The third most negative contribution mentioned was over-involvement by Christian churches in politics, according to the Barna website.
Surprisingly, the most critical subgroups were liberals (seven percent) and evangelical Christians (6 percent). Evangelicals were especially judicious. While 25% of respondents cited hatred, violence, intolerance, bigotry and lack of love for others, almost twice as many evangelicals (48%) mentioned these items.
- Less than 1% of the population complained about aggressive evangelization by Christians.
- The largest segment of Christians–non-evangelical born again Christians–were least aware of either positive or negative contributions of Christians.
- Most of the non-Christian respondents mentioned helping the poor and underprivileged as the best contribution of Christians.