Pew’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has published extensive results of its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. I’ll review some of the highlights.

Colorado has fewer Evangelical Protestants than the national average, at 23 versus 26 percent. We have fewer Catholics, at 19 versus 24 percent. And we have more unaffiliated people at 25 versus 16 percent. That helps explain the Interior West mindset of wanting to maintain church and state separation. Notably, Affiliations does not list atheist or nonreligious, so presumably the 16 percent Unaffiliated category includes the nonreligious.

While a stunning 33 percent of the nation believes the Bible is literally true and the Word of God, 59 percent of Evangelicals think so. Evangelicals are topped only by Historically Black Churches at 62 percent. Notably, this is higher than the figure for Muslims (for Scripture), at 50 percent.

Meanwhile, 28 percent of the nation think Scripture is “written by men, not the word of God.” Seven percent of Evangelicals think so. Bringing up the average include Other Christians at 44 percent, Jews at 53 percent, Buddhists at 67 percent, and the Unaffiliated at 64 percent.

On abortion, a third of Evangelicals think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The figure is 62 percent for Mainline Churches, 48 percent for Catholics, 75 percent for Other Christians, 84 percent for Jews, 70 percent for the Unaffiliated.

Those who want “Smaller government, fewer [tax-funded] services” break the halfway point for Mainline Churches at 51 percent and Mormons at 56 percent. (I object to the phrasing of the question, because lower taxes mean more free-market services.) Those who want “Bigger government, more [tax-funded] services” include Historically Black Churches at 72 percent, Muslims at 70 percent, Catholics at 51 percent, the Unaffiliated at 48 percent, and Evangelicals at 41 percent.

The national figures for smaller versus bigger government are 43 to 46 percent, figures that should make Obama glow.