Sociology Professor Bradley Wright Says U.S. Evangelicals Are Not as Hated as They Think

Audience members joined hands in worship at the evangelist Franklin Graham’s Decision America event in Greenville, N.C., last week. Credit…Chris Seward/Associated Press

Evangelical Christians in the United States are not as negatively viewed as they might think, according to a sociologist who recently spoke with the National Association of Evangelicals.

Bradley Wright, associate professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut, was interviewed by NAE President Walter Kim in a podcast posted online on Sunday.

When Kim asked Wright “if there is a difference” with “how people outside of faith perceive Christians in general and evangelicals in particular,” Wright talked about the Pew Research Center and their highly publicized surveys on how “warmly” Americans feel about various religious groups.

He explained that evangelicals normally fall in the “middle of the pack,” being ranked warmer than groups like atheists and Muslims, yet colder than Catholics and Jews.

Wright, however, warned that such surveys have “very unstable” data, with the results likely to change considerably over the months, even with the same sample.

“I think the short answer is that its ‘middle of the pack’ is how people view evangelicals, but it varies somewhat,” said Wright.

Wright noted that this “tends to be different than how evangelicals think other people think about” them, proposing that evangelicals tend to think of the general population as being more hostile.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski