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Religious People More Likely to Have a Positive Outlook

Added by Holger Bergner on October 6, 2012. · No Comments · Share this Post

Filed under Opinion, Religion

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By Andrew Fogg, flickr.com

Religion can give you inner peace, freedom from a lot of life’s worries and a sense of belonging. When you are religious you are more likely to have a positive outlook in life, despite the hardships and trials you might be facing.

SALT LAKE CITY — Religious Americans, despite suffering hardships during the recession, still have faith in the American dream and are optimistic about the country’s future, surveys in the past two years have shown.

By Matthew Brown, Deseret News, October 5, 2012:

The most recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found 53 percent of Americans believe the American dream still holds true, while 54 percent said the nation’s best days are ahead.

According to a demographic breakdown of the survey taken in August, 81 percent of the 2,500 sampled said religion played an important role in their lives.

Religiosity predicting a more upbeat economic outlook was also found in a Baylor University survey released last year that found 73 percent of Americans believe God has a plan for them, while 54 percent said they believe anything is possible through hard work.

“In today’s United States with high levels of unemployment and vastly expanding wealth inequality, belief in God’s plan sustains belief in the fairness of our economic system and our ability to eschew government assistance to stem the tide of our economic woes,” Baylor researchers concluded in their “The Values and Beliefs of the American Public” survey.

Religion and the working class

The PRRI findings compared the views of white working-class Americans to those of white college-educated Americans. While many of the questions were political in nature, with the presidential election approaching, some explored religious views.

Asked if capitalism and the free market system were at odds with Christian values, 44 percent of Americans overall agreed and 41 percent disagreed, while 46 percent of the white working-class saw a conflict and 38 percent didn’t. But a majority (53 percent) of those who identified as white and college-educated said capitalism and Christian values are consistent.

Dan Cox, director of research at PRRI, said that question along with others countered common stereotypes of the white middle-class, who were identified in the survey as without a four-year college degree and who don’t hold a salaried position.

“One of the preconceptions is the (white middle class) is a group for which religion is really important and that it defines them. But one of the things we found is that the religiosity of the white working class doesn’t differ appreciably from that of white college-educated Americans,” Cox said (…)

Read the full article here

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