Episcopalians. Presbyterians. Lutherans. Methodists. Baptists.
That’s the way the major Protestant groups rank today in education, employment, and income. Reverse the order and you have a listing of loyalty to the Democratic Party—Baptists highest and Episcopalians lowest.
This profile of denominational groups, first of its kind, comes this month from the Gallup Poll and is based on more than 40,000 personal interviews conducted last year. It’s part of a sixty-four-page compendium of findings on U.S. religion since 1955 by Gallup’s American Institute of Public Opinion.
Besides the denominational comparison, the volume contains the latest survey of church attendance. Gallup provides the only national estimates in this area by asking persons whether they went to church during the previous week. In 1966, as in the year before, 44 per cent had. This compares with 49 per cent during 1958.
Asked how happy they were, 49 per cent of the churchgoing group said “very happy,” compared with 39 per cent of the non-churchgoers.
To a large extent, inclusion of religious questions on the Gallup organization’s weekly surveys is due to Managing Director George Gallup, Jr., who runs the operation when his famous father is out of the office. The younger Gallup, 37, earned a bachelor’s degree in religion at Princeton, basing his 1952 thesis on a national survey of beliefs.
At the time, he was thinking of becoming an Episcopal priest, but he changed his mind after a year’s work with a Bible school in a Negro Episcopal church in Galveston, Texas. But church interest remains. Gallup is a lay reader and Sunday school teacher in his local Episcopal parish.
In the research at Princeton, Gallup was amazed at the low level of religious knowledge in America, ...1
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