Study Suggests Churchgoing Christians Are Good (Not Bad) Tippers

Ed Stetzer lends his 'facts are our friends' perspective to the Applebee's pastor tip debate.

This month's Internet furor over a St. Louis pastor's apparent unwillingness to tip a waitress at Applebee's quickly outgrew the facts of the matter. But it certainly struck a chord, with many asking, "Why are Christians such bad tippers?"

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, decided to search for statistics. "Why does this stereotype exist? Because, in large part, many servers think it is true. Many Christians do as well," he wrote on his blog. "But, what does the research say?"

Stetzer points to "the only study of which I am aware" that addresses the question. Published last year in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers Michael Lynn of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and Benjamin Katz of HCD Research surveyed 1,600 U.S. adults and found the following:

1) Jews and "those with no religion" tip more (on average) than Christians or members of other religions.

2) The vast majority of Christians tip the "normative" 15 percent or more of the bill total, while ...

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