Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Is Christianity the source of antisemitism?

The source of antisemitism is Christianity, right? Just look at medieval Europe.

GSS respondents were asked on a scale of 0 to 100 how warmly do they they feel toward Jews. I correlated this measure with frequency of church attendance for various race-religion combinations:


Pearson correlations

White Protestants .12
White Catholics .17
White Christians .23
White Others .20
Black Protestants .14
Black Catholics -.20
Mexican Catholics .10 

Greater religiosity is associated with greater warmth. Another approach is to compare means:

Mean warmth toward Jews

White Protestants 61.9
White Catholics 65.4
White Christians 57.5
White Others 53.6
Black Protestants 60.4
Black Catholics 57.1
Whites--no religion 51.2
Blacks--no religion 46.0
Other race--no religion 50.0
Mexican Catholics 55.1

Same story. The fact is that irreligiosity predicts antisemitism. It ain't the 12th century.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Manetho, an Egyptian writing in the third century B.C., was credited by Paul Johnson in his book, "A History of the Jews", as being a inititial father of anti-semitism.

zarzal said...

Irreligious White mean warmth towards Catholics: 51

Irreligious Black mean warmth towards Catholics: 48.8

Irreligious Mexican mean warmth towards Catholics: 67.7

Irreligious White mean warmth towards Muslims: 44.6

Irreligious Black mean warmth towards Muslims: 50

Irreligious Mexican mean warmth towards Muslims: 30 (small sample)

zarzal said...

I clicked sumbit too early;

With the exception of Mexicans, non-religious people have cool (in many cases, colder) attitudes towards religious groups in general; there's no anti-semitic pogrom brewing among the secular.

zarzal said...

correction: Secular Mexicans still feel positive towards catholics, but colder towards Jews and Muslims

SFG said...

Things like this really embarass me, given the Jewish paranoia about the religious Right. My ability to convince anyone of their error is very slim, and every argument I get into ends with the other guy going on about how they're just waiting for the Rapture so all the Jews can go to Israel and die. I had one dude who would compare Fox News to Goebbels.

I know having your extended family wiped out tends to make you irrational, but they're completely ignoring the Muslim influx that's a lot more dangerous for Jews than any hypothetical Nazi resurgence.

Mupetblast said...

"Things like this really embarass me, given the Jewish paranoia about the religious Right."

Given that many (if not most?) Jews are in fact secular and progressive, isn't their fear related to what they believe is in store for OTHER minorities if the religious right gets its way?

In any case, how does one gauge plain old indifference in this survey? Is lack of warmth synonymous with dislike? I think Zarzal is making a similar point.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is that religious people feel a need to say they are warm toward other peoples, regardless of their true feelings. In my opinion this study goes against reality.

SFG said...

"Given that many (if not most?) Jews are in fact secular and progressive, isn't their fear related to what they believe is in store for OTHER minorities if the religious right gets its way?"

Naah, I think at a base level they're afraid of getting converted and the Jewish people dying out that way. You even hear talk of a 'second Holocaust', which is horribly unfair. As if wanting to marry your son is like trying to kill you!