1 Heat in the Melting Pot and Cracks in the Mosaic Attitudes Toward Religious Groups and Atheists in the United States and Canada by Reginald W. Bibby Board of Governors Research Chair in Sociology University of Lethbridge Lethbridge, Alberta Canada T1K 3M4 Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Northwest Region of The American Academy of Religion Moscow, ID May 2016
2 ABSTRACT The ideal of pluralism has become entrenched in both the United States and Canada. Allegedly, respect and acceptance are increasingly being extended to diverse religious groups of all kinds, along with people who are not religious. In this paper, attitudes toward a wide range of religious groups and atheists in both the U.S. and Canada are examined and compared, drawing on recent parallel national surveys of Americans by the Pew Research Center and Canadians by the Angus Reid Institute. Despite the rhetoric about acceptance of religious diversity in both countries, the findings show that there still is a considerable distance to go before intergroup utopia is realized in either setting.
3 Introduction The Pluralistic Ideal
5 Boomers were dramatically influenced by the 1960s rights revolutions civil rights, the sexual revolution, women s liberation, & the counterculture revolution. In Canada many also grew up with bilingualism, multiculturalism, & the Charter. The legacy is everywhere.
6 While acceptance of diverse people and lifestyles has not always been the norm in either country, these days respect and acceptance have become the dominant ideals. Such acceptance of diversity allegedly is extended to religious groups of all kinds, along with people who are not religious.
7 Explicit multiculturalism Melting pot Both: full participation, decrying of discrimination, goal of equality
8 In both countries: much progress in many areas Race & ethnicity Women Sexual orientation Physical challenges One of the most difficult: may prove to be religion Religious diversity People who value faith & those who do not
9 Protestants and Roman Catholics comprised more than 95% of the population from the 1860s through early 1960s. Over the 100-year period, the percentage of people identifying with other major world faiths never exceeded 3%, while those claiming to have no religion never reached 1%.
10 Religious Identification: Protestant 56% Roman Catholic Eastern Orthodox <1 <1 1 1 Other Faiths No Religion <1 <1 <1 <1 Sources: Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
11 Countries of Origin: Britain France Other European Asia <1 <1 1 1 Aboriginal < Other 1 2 <1 1 Sources: Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
12 The Post-1980s Shifting Immigration Patterns
13 New arrivals from Britain and Europe have been increasingly outnumbered by people from so-called developing countries in Asia, the Middle East, and South America.
14 Immigration Patterns Top 10 Countries of Origin Up Until United Kingdom 2. Italy 3. United States 4. Germany 5. Portugal 6. Netherlands 7. India 8. Poland 9. China 10. Yugoslavia China 2. India 3. Philippines 4. Pakistan 5. United States 6. South Korea 7. Romania 8. Iran 9. United Kingdom 10. Columbia Source: Statistics Canada Census Data.
15 Growing numbers of new arrivals have identified with other major world religions, led by Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, or have come with no religion. Significant numbers have continued to arrive as Roman Catholics. The Protestant newcomers have tended to be Evangelicals, rather than Mainliners.
16 Religious Identification of Immigrants: 1970s through Now Roman Protestant Other Faith None Totals Catholic Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, 2011.
17 Religious Composition of Immigrants to the United States (%) 1. Christian No Religion Muslim 5 4. Buddhist 4 5. Hindu 3 6. Jewish <1 7. Other 3 Source: Pew Research Center, March 8, 2012.
18 Results: Religious diversity Religious diversification esp. Catholicism
19 Other Major World Religions: Canada and the United States % Sources: Canada - Statistics Canada; U.S. Pew Forum, 2015.
20 Other Major World Religions, Canada: Muslim 3.2% 1,054, Hindu , Sikh , Buddhist , Jewish ,000 Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey.
21 Other Major World Religions, United States: Jewish 1.8% 5,690, Buddhist 1.2 3,570, Muslim.9 2,770, Hindu.6 1,790,000 Source: Pew Forum, Religious Composition by Country, April 2, 2015.
22 Also in the Post-1960s Shifting Identification Patterns
23 Newsflash! PEW FORUM ON RELIGION & PUBLIC LIFE October 2012 Nones are on the rise and growing at a rapid pace! 1 in 5 Americans, 1 in 3 adults under 30 2% through the 1960s, 10% through the 1990s second only to Catholics mostly at expense white Protestants (70% in 1950, now <50%) via immigration: little change RCs (25%), Other (7%) Source: Pew Research Center, October 9, 2012.
24 Adults with No Religion, : U.S. and Canada U.S. Canada Sources: U.S.: Gallup and Pew; Canada: Statistics Canada Census & GSS, ARI 2015.
25 NO RELIGION NUMBERS 8 million 58 million Growth via immigration, notably China Growth also via choice among Can/Am-born
26 Never Attenders: : U.S. and Canada U.S. Canada Sources: U.S.: NORC ; 2014 ARF; Canada: Bibby, Project Canada Series; 2005 GSS, 2015 ARI.
27 AmCan Comparisons Monthly-Plus Attendance, Sources: Canada - Bibby, 1975, 1990, ARI 2015; U.S. - NORC, 1975, 1990; Pew 2015.
28 Atheism in the U.S.: (%) Sources: : NORC; 2015: Pew Research Center.
29 Atheism in Canada: (%) Sources: Reginald W. Bibby, Project Canada Survey Series; 2015 ARI Religion Survey..
30 The Reality of Religious Polarization
31 To look at virtually every country in the world is to see a fairly obvious reality: to varying degrees, some people embrace religion and cores of people do not. A significant proportion remain in the middle something like the politically undecided neither in nor out.
32 The Polarization Continuum Religious Religious Middle Not Religious Source: Reginald W. Bibby, Beyond the Gods & Back, 2011:56.
33 Some people say Canadians variously (1) embrace religion, (2) reject religion, or (3) are somewhere in between the two extremes. Where would you be tend to locate yourself? The three response options were: (1) I am inclined to embrace religion, (2) I am inclined to reject religion, and (3) I am somewhere in between. 25% Reject 30% Embrace 45% Middle
35 Religious Composition Christian 68% 71 Catholic Protestant Mainline Evangelical 9 30 Other Christian 4 3 Other Faiths 8 6 No Religion Sources: Statistics Canada, 2011 National Household Survey; U.S. Pew Research Center, May 12, 2015.
36 The Realities of Religious Diversity & Religious Polarization Raise: Q of Coexistence
37 Intergroup Attitudes: Canada & the U.S. How positive, negative, or neutral do you feel toward the following groups? Rating on feeling thermometer : range 0-100; coldest 33 or below. % Indicating Negative Muslims 44% Mormons 35 Evangelical Christians 27 Sikhs 26 Atheists 22 Hindus 16 Catholics 13 Jews 12 Buddhists 9 Protestants 8 % Coldest *** ** Sources: Canada 2015 ARI Religion Survey; US Pew Research Center, July 2014.
38 Attitudes Toward Muslims in Select European Countries: 2014 % Indicating Unfavorable Source: Pew Research Center, 2014 Global Attitudes survey Italy Greece Poland Spain Germany France UK Source: Pew Research Center, 2014 Global Attitudes Survey.
39 Intergroup Attitudes on Average How positive, negative, or neutral do you feel toward the following groups? Means. Catholics 71 Protestants 70 Buddhists 69 Jews 67 Hindus 63 Evangelical Christians 61 Atheists 61 Sikhs 58 Mormons 56 Muslims *** *** 48 40
41 Select Group Averages by Age Indicates < Buddhists Jews Hindus Atheists Mormons Muslims
42 Intergroup Attitudes How positive, negative, or neutral do you feel toward the following groups? % Indicating Negative Embrace Middle Reject Muslims 44% Mormons Evangelical Christians Sikhs Atheists Hindus Catholics Jews Buddhists Protestants
43 Discomfort Around the Devout and Those Rejecting Religion (%) Generally speaking, I feel a bit uncomfortable around people who are religiously devout have no use for religion The Religiously Devout No Use for Religion ALL Embrace Middle Reject Source: 2015 ARI Religion Survey.
44 The Future More National & Religious Diversity
46 World s Top 10 Immigrant Destinations In Millions 10. Ukraine India Spain United Kingdom France Canada Saudi Arabia Germany Russia United States 43.0* Includes 12 million Mexicans Source: Pew Research Center, March 8, 2012.
47 Foreign-Born Makeup of Population: (%) Canada US
48 Sources of Canada s Foreign-born Population: (%) Africa Americas Asia Europe Source: Derived from Statistics Canada 2010, Cat x.
49 Sources of the American Foreign-born Population: 1990 & 2013 (%) Latin Am-Caribbean Asia Europe Africa North America Source: Pew Research Center, December 17, 2013.
50 Current and Projected Sizes of Major Religious Groups: 2010 & 2050, the United States & Canada (%) Source: Pew Research Center, The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections,
51 That Was THE MOST IMPORTANT SLIDE IN THE PRESENTATION! Religion and non-religion will continue to exist. The Q is how the groups will get along.
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