Survey: Are Capitalism and Christianity Compatible?

American Majority Wants Clergy to Speak Out on Rich-Poor Gap

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WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A survey found that the majority of Americans believe that capitalism is not compatible with Christian values.
 
The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, found that 44% of Americans expressed the belief that the two are at odds, while 36% asserted that capitalism is consistent with Christian values.
 
It noted significant differences by gender: Half of the women surveyed stated that capitalism and Christianity are at odds, while only 37% of the men agreed with this statement.
 
The survey also found that 62% of Americans think “one of the biggest problems in the United States is that more and more wealth is held by just a few people.”
 
Among those surveyed, responders in the age group 18-34 were more likely to agree with this statement (71%) than those over age 65 (56%).
 
The research institute also noted that “Americans across the religious landscape agree clergy should be speaking out on social issues, but are more divided about economic issues.”
 
The survey queried people about the importance of religious leaders speaking out publicly on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, home foreclosures, reducing the deficit, raising the minimum wage, or the gap between the rich and poor.
 
Among the economic-related issues, religiously affiliated Americans most often stressed the need for their leaders to speak out about the gap between the rich and the poor. Some 61% of Catholics, 61% of minority Christians, and 51% of white evangelical Protestants underlined the importance of their religious leaders addressing this issue.
 
The institute also noted that 58% of Americans expressed the belief that the federal budget is a moral document that reflects the nation’s priorities.
 
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Public Religion Research Institute: www.publicreligion.org

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