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AP-NORC Poll: Americans Rarely Seek Guidance From Clergy

AP-NORC Poll: Americans Rarely Seek Guidance From Clergy
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Monday, 08 July 2019 09:58 AM

A new poll finds most Americans don't typically reach out to religious leaders for guidance.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds three-quarters of American adults rarely or never consult a clergy member when making important decisions. Only about a quarter do at least some of the time.

The lack of personal connection with ministers includes people who identify with a religion, though those most engaged with their faith are more likely to have relationships with clergy.

The findings come amid a general decline in attendance at religious services.

Other poll findings:

ON ACCEPTING GAY MEN AS CLERGY MEMBERS

  • 44% of Americans ages 60 or over who affiliate with a religion think their faith should allow a gay man to become a clergy member, compared with 54% of those ages 45 through 59 and nearly two-thirds of those under age 45.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those with a college degree say a gay man should be able to become clergy in their faith, compared with 50% of those without a college degree.
  • About a third of evangelical Protestants think a gay man should be accepted as a clergy member in their faith, compared with about twice as many Catholics and mainline Protestants.

ON THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN AND DIVORCED PEOPLE

  • At least three-quarters of evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics think a woman should be able to become a clergy member in their respective faiths.
  • Majorities across religious groups think someone who is divorced should be able to be ordained. Catholics, however, are slightly less likely than Protestants to find it acceptable.

ON SUPPORT FOR THE SOCIAL VIEWS OF CLERGY

  • About half of Americans identifying with a religion say their faith should allow clergy members who believe that abortion should be legal, that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry or that sex before marriage is morally acceptable.
  • Religious Americans ages 60 or older are less likely than those younger to think clergy in their faith can include someone who believes sex before marriage is morally acceptable, 43% versus 59%, or someone who believes same-sex marriage should be legal, 38% versus 60%.
  • 35% of older religious Americans support their faith ordaining someone who thinks abortion should be legal, compared with 54% of those younger.
  • Majorities of those who attend church monthly or less often think their faith should allow clergy members who believe that abortion should be legal, that same-sex marriage should be legal or that sex before marriage should be accepted. About a third of those who attend religious services at least twice a month think the same.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,137 adults was conducted May 17-20 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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A new poll finds most Americans don't typically reach out to religious leaders for guidance. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds three-quarters of American adults rarely or never consult a clergy member....
poll, religion, guidance, clergy
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2019-58-08
Monday, 08 July 2019 09:58 AM
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