Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are Jews anti-Christian? Professor Kevin MacDonald has written that, "Jews were unique as an American immigrant group in their hostility toward American Christian culture and in their energetic, aggressive efforts to change that culture.” The GSS has data that is relevant here. Respondents were asked to give a score between 0 and 100 indicating how warmly they feel toward different religious groups. They were told that 0 to 50 is "cool" and 51 to 100 is "warm." (Many people said 50, presumably to indicate neutrality). I list below the average scores for different religious groups:

Toward Protestants
Protestants 73.7
Catholics 64.7
Jews 60.1
None 52.6

Toward Catholics
Protestants 62.8
Catholics 80.2
Jews 61.9
None 51.1

Toward Jews
Protestants 61.6
Catholics 64.4
Jews 79.9
None 51.1

These numbers show that all three religious groups have warm feelings towards
each other--people with no religion tend to be neutral towards Protestants, Catholics, and Jews. So, while Jews are less warm toward Christians than vice-versa, they still look at them more favorably than the irreligious do. There is no evidence here that Jews are anti-Christian. Incidentally, Catholics and Jews feel more warmly for their own than do Protestants.


  1. If I remember correctly, KMD also suggested that richer Jews have a stronger ethnic identity. And KMD suggests wealthier Jews would be more hostile to outgroups. Does the data disaggregated show a less favorable view of outgroups at higher income levels?

  2. There aren't enough cases when I look at income, but I was able to look at those with very prestigious jobs: the overall view of outgroups is the same or more positive. For Jews, those with very prestigious jobs average 60 toward both Protestants and Catholics--roughly the same numbers as for all Jews.

  3. I honestly think it has to do with belief. The ultra Orthodox Jews most likely have the strongest feelings against all other groups.
    I don't think it has anything to do with money. Many of the Hollywood moguls took non Jewish wives.

  4. Jewish respondents were asked what type of Jew they are. There was only one Orthodox guy in the sample, and he was neutral toward Catholics and Protestants. I looked to see if attitudes were more negative among Jews who attend religious services often, but they were actually a little warmer toward Christians.

  5. There's a view that, as the secular-religious divide becomes more pronounced, Catholics and Protestants (especially Evangelicals) are growing closer (well, previously they hated each other). Maybe something similar is happening with religious (incl. moderately religious) Jews and Christians.

  6. I think that recent polls have shown that Jews are much more favorable towards mass immigration than any other group of whites or blacks. Comparable to Hispanics in the US. (Of course Mexicans are against immigration to Mexico, and Jews are against immigration of Christians to Israel.)

    It's not that Jews are anti-Christian per se, it is that they want to reduce Christians' influence.

    To be clear but mean ... I love my dog, but I don't want to have to do what my dog wants me to do.

    Hope you can find a non-immigration question on GSS which goes to this point.


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