Questionable Motives

February 18, 2010

Do religious people practice what is preached?

Filed under: belief,racism,Religion,tolerance — tildeb @ 1:26 pm

Religious people can be racist, and that’s not news.  But are they more likely to be racist than non-religious people?  A new study now confirms this hypothesis.

The February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review has published a meta-analysis of 55 independent studies conducted in the United States which considers surveys of over 20,000 mostly Christian participants. Religious congregations generally express more prejudiced views towards other races. Furthermore, the more devout the community, the greater the racism.

A meta-analytic review of past research evaluated the link between religiosity and racism in the United States since the Civil Rights Act. Religious racism partly reflects intergroup dynamics. That is, a strong religious in-group identity was associated with derogation of racial out-groups. Other races might be treated as out-groups because religion is practiced largely within race, because training in a religious in-group identity promotes general ethnocentrism, and because different others appear to be in competition for resources. In addition, religious racism is tied to basic life values of social conformity and respect for tradition. In support, individuals who were religious for reasons of conformity and tradition expressed racism that declined in recent years with the decreased societal acceptance of overt racial discrimination.

Tip to CFI


  1. This is crazy! The Catholic church is multi-cultural and racial and all are welcome and not judged. That study is way off.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — February 21, 2010 @ 2:33 am | Reply

  2. Tell that to the people in Northern Ireland or in fact anywhere where multiple religions converge – religion is racism, because they all disagree and think they are better than each other. Religion has been used to ethnically cleanse societies – take former Yugoslavia for example, or the Jews during the second world war.

    Religion segregated societies, and when segregation occurs conflict arises – it is obvious to me that people who are religious are racist. Some of the most racist homophobic and sexist people I know have been Catholics.

    Comment by misunderstoodranter — February 21, 2010 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  3. This has to do with America. I’m just telling you that it is not like that here. Racism is taught. Unfortunately, people live in the past and were raised to be racist and the chain continues on down the line. It has nothing to do with the church. When I think of racism I think of white/black/mexican, etc….not religions.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — February 21, 2010 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

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