Poll: Who is More Honest Than Pastors?
Only 52 percent of Americans think clergy are honest and ethical.

According to a new Gallup poll, most people trust their pharmacist more than their pastor. The survey rated the "honesty and ethical standards" of 22 different vocations. Nurses came out on top with 85 percent giving them "high/very high" marks on honesty and ethics. Pharmacists ranked at 75 percent.

What about clergy? Only 52 percent said they were highly honest. There is a silver lining–this latest number is 2 percent higher than a similar poll from 2009, which marked the lowest level of public trust in clergy in 32 years.

Other professions that ranked higher than pastors for honesty:



Medical Doctors



Police Officers

College Teachers

Who came in last? Car salesmen beat members of Congress for that honor. Although with the fiscal cliff looming, Congress has a good shot at retaking the title of least reliable and honost profession.

December 07, 2012

Displaying 1–8 of 8 comments


January 05, 2013  9:27am

My thought is that the culture does not trust pastors because they are the pinnacle of a religious establishment that represents some form of "faith based philosophy" or "mysticism". The outcome of these two options is empty dead end religious disillusionment and people have left that camp. Most churchgoers have never had the privilege, much less even know, what bible teaching is or how it can help them mature and continue on in the Word of God. A expository Bible teacher who teaches verse by verse with a historical understanding is more accountable to the truth because he is directly engaged in the apparatus of the Word of God. The difference between a so called "pastor" and a Bible teacher could not be more stark. Instead of serving the whims of a pastor the churchgoer is being transformed and renewed by the Word of God as the teacher equips the church for service.

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January 02, 2013  12:54pm

Wow! I was actually shocked in reading this. It's actually very sad. Pastors are people to. We all make mistakes. Even still, there are a lot of really great pastors out there that people trust more. However, for the most part it's only the ones who make mistakes that we hear about in the media. It's no wonder people struggle to trust.

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December 20, 2012  6:57am

Most pastors are politicians. Persuading people is their profession. When we equate the two who do you trust more?

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December 10, 2012  9:48pm

@Steve Martin - He did? Says who?

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Daniel Silliman

December 09, 2012  3:49am

As we've seen with congress, distrusting congressmen generally doesn't translate into distrusting your congressman specifically. They keep getting re-elected, after all. The same is true here with clergy. People don't trust them as a class, but individuals are OK.

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George E

December 08, 2012  2:03pm

Wow! Police are trusted? There are court cases that afford them a legal right to lie: Holland v. McGinnis and Frazier v. Cupp are the biggies.

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Steve Martin

December 07, 2012  5:38pm

Jesus said, "all men are liars." Of course he was right. But some are far worse than others. But it seems as if most everyone is trying desperately to catch up.

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December 07, 2012  1:49pm

Wow. That sucks. And dentists? They're the biggest liars ever... "This is only going to hurt a little bit..." What's just as horrible - though not surprising - is that politicians are duking it out with car salesmen for the bottom slot.

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