Friday, February 12, 2010

Faith and Racism.

Wendy Wood of USC conducted an analytical study of existing research into the link between religion and racism. Here findings are both expected and shocking.

One can only ask what the implications are for other discriminatory opinions in the US such as anti-reproductive rights and anti-social services. And, at risk of running out these implications too far, what this study says about the Tea Party-furcated Republican party, committed to “no”-ing our nation’s way to a complete stalemate under our current black-led administration.

From Science and Religion Today, where I found the study. Here's a clip:

The researchers found barely any difference between the amount of racism among religious fundamentalists and more moderate Christians. “Only religious agnostics were racially tolerant,” they write in their paper.
We shouldn’t be shocked, Wood explains:

Religious groups distinguish between believers and nonbelievers and moral people and immoral ones. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the strongly religious people in our research, who were mostly white Christians, discriminated against others who were different from them—blacks and minorities.

She also points out that people who are religious because they value tradition and social convention were especially likely to be racist, noting:

The effect stays significant even in recent years. For people who are religious for conservative reasons, they have become less racist in recent years as racism has become less socially acceptable. But even they are still significantly racist, just that the effect has reduced in magnitude.

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