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The Six People Americans Now Trust More Than Their Pastor (2013)

Views on clergy honesty and ethics hit record low. However, Gallup still finds clergy rank No. 7 out of 22 professions.

Once again, Gallup has examined who Americans regard as the most honest and ethical person in their lives—and found that the answer is not their pastor, but their nurse or pharmacist.

In fact, recorded public trust in clergy has now reached ...

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Displaying 1–10 of 10 comments

Jeremy Weber

January 09, 2014  10:49am

Clark: Thanks for pointing out that mistake. Headline is now fixed.

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Clark Coleman

January 04, 2014  7:05pm

I notice that "headline writers who cannot perform simple arithmetic" was NOT a profession that ranked ahead of clergy. Yet, the "grade school teachers" who educated these headline writers are trusted more than clergy. Perhaps we should raise our standards for education.

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audrey ruth

December 23, 2013  4:14am

I'm surprised that even ordinary Americans (not specifically Christians) rated these six professions more trustworthy than clergy: nurses, pharmacists, grade school teachers, medical doctors, military officers, and police officers. I trust Bible-believing, Bible-preaching, humble, fair-minded pastors, but I do not trust pastors who do not believe and preach the Bible as it is written, nor do I trust pastors who are proud and arrogant, and do not treat everyone in the congregation as equals. Nor do I automatically trust people in those six professions. There are good and bad apples in every single one of those professions, and I've had much personal experience to validate that fact. Bottom line is the same as for pastors: Whether they are proud or humble, rely on God or rely on their own knowledge as though they are equal with God, and how they treat the people with whom they interact.

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December 20, 2013  4:56pm

I think in future rankings of professions that are trusted you should list pollsters. Increasingly it is becoming apparent that pollsters can manipulate their questions along with the type of people polled to get whatever result they choose to get. I would like to see CT do a thoughtful article on the use of polls to gather any information which we can rely on for something truthful. At this point most if not all polls are not worth a warm glass of spit.

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David Lloyd-Jones

December 20, 2013  4:47pm

Police officers??? That's insane. No cop can tell the color of a traffic light until he's decided who's jaywalking and who's not. The Nobel Prize for Fiction should be awarded collectively to all the witness stands in America where a cop has ever testified. -dlj.

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Brian Boerman

December 18, 2013  11:03pm

I must agree with Vic Christian. This speaks much more loudly about the ignorance of the populous than the credibility of the clergy. Law enforcement officers are in fact trained to lie as a necessary tool for doing their jobs. We see incidents of brutality and poor judgment on the TV news. And yet we find them more credible than pastors. We are most to be pitied.

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Vic Christian

December 18, 2013  11:31am

I guess I am pleased that this headline stated "Americans" rather than Bible-believing Christians. However - I am a bit surprised with our trust in military and police officers over many of the other groups.

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December 18, 2013  9:48am

I think that the statement is misleading, it has a lot to do with individual churches and denominations, because some no not preach the WORD, but have their own take on it and you can't trust them that pervert the WORD of God for their own purposes. I trust my pastor of an Independent Baptist Church and of the Churches my grown children attend.

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Robert Burke

December 18, 2013  9:33am

Can we trust a clericalism leader who... never teaches the Western Enlightenment (actually, advanced teaching from the bible) that one must wisely be skeptical of one's leader, else mystic tyranny arise! GREAT leaders tell their followers this, such as George Washington. HORRIBLE leaders... such as clericalism leaders... never mention that a wise audience is skeptical and verifies. Why? Because the higher the leader, the greater the ability to hide sin, self-dealing, shenanigans and whatever sin the leader wants to do.

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December 17, 2013  2:35pm

The pastors I know within my denomination I'd trust up in the 95th percentile, along with all the Calvary Chapel pastors I knew personally. Most of the older denominations, that are 100-to-300 years old, the percentile drops to that of ordinary people on the street. We all are re-covering sinners, becoming less sinful as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. But some Christian denominations have spiritually died out, and where there is no longer a presence of the Holy Spirit indwelling its members, a denomination is no better in standards than those in the world. All revivals-turned-denominations have a life-death cycle, where they go from preaching the undiluted wine of the Word of God, to watering it down so much you can't tell it's no different from tap-water.

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