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New poll confirms Jesus remains an important spiritual figure, but pandemic had effect on religious activity
Most Americans think religion makes the country stronger, but there is more work to do

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 9, 2022

A NATIONAL poll conducted by Ipsos for the Episcopal Church reveals that while the majority of Americans polled believe Jesus was an important spiritual figure and want equality in society, it also showed Christians are not necessarily practicing what Jesus taught, and Americans feel judged when talking about their beliefs.

Released in March 2022, the study also found that the global pandemic has negatively impacted participation in organized religion -- or religious activity -- and more people are finding spiritual fulfillment in nature. In addition, while the church has been a place of community and non-judgment, some Americans feel that churches that discuss racism and slavery are acting with the wrong intentions.

Research data showed:
• The majority of Americans (84%) believe Jesus is an important spiritual figure and want their children to grow up in a world where everyone is treated equally (86%).
• Christians describe themselves as being giving (57%), compassionate (56%), loving (55%), respectful (50%) and friendly (49%), while non-Christians associate Christians with characteristics like hypocrisy (50%), being judgmental (49%), self-righteousness (46%), and arrogance (32%).
• The COVID-19 pandemic has decreased participation in organized religion or religious activities for about 3 in 10 Americans (31%).
• Younger Americans are more likely to say they are not religious (Gen Z 24% and Millennials 28%) than their older counterparts (Gen X 18% and Baby Boomers 12%).
• Contrary to popular narrative, only 1 in 10 (10%) Americans believe that the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, were associated with organized religion. A majority, 63% of Americans, do not think the events are associated with religion, and 25% don't know/refused.

"We are encouraged that the research shows Americans still find Jesus compelling, but we also see that the behavior of many of his followers is a problem, and it's not just certain Christians: it's all Christians," said Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

"This is a wake-up call for us, and based on what we have learned, we are refocusing our efforts on being a church that looks and acts like Jesus and models its behavior on His teachings. In this process, we hope to ignite a revival of love that encourages all Americans to do a better job of loving their neighbors."

Curry wants a loving America and a loving Church without the need for repentance. The Jesus portrayed here is little more than a cuddly bear, - "important spiritual figure" - a super Mahatma Gandhi or Dalai Lama type figures, which hardly comports with the Jesus found in the New Testament.

Curry wants more anti-racism training, more ecological awareness, more acceptance of pansexuality, more wokeness as the means for transformation, but there is no evidence that that will dispel the encroaching darkness and the slide of the West (and its mainline churches) into the spiritual abyss.

The poll also revealed that "some Americans feel that churches that discuss racism and slavery are acting with the wrong intentions." Perhaps because many white Americans are being made to feel guilty for just being white and the racism brush is being splashed across all whites, who, incidentally pay nearly all the bills in TEC.

Based on current beliefs being pushed by and in TEC, the Church will be extinct by 2040, if not earlier, along with the Anglican Church of Canada. (The Pandemic will have reduced that time frame.)

"In this Lenten season, The Episcopal Church challenges all Americans, but particularly Christians, to model Jesus' teachings and treat all people justly, especially the most marginalized in society. Lent is a time of intentional reflection and action, and we are especially mindful of our resolve to continue building meaningful and inclusive communities in our post-pandemic world that encourage all Americans to listen without judgment and celebrate differences," Curry said.

"Modeling Jesus" might mean a cross, (check out the war in the Ukraine); it might mean suffering, that is going against the pansexual zeitgeist that is crippling TEC and all the mainline denominations. It might mean risking jail if you offer reparative therapies for those wanting to get rid of their same sex attractions. It might also mean going to jail if you oppose abortion and the slaughter of the innocents.

But that is not what Curry and his band of progressive bishops want or mean. "Inclusive communities" means the full acceptance of homosexuality and the behavior that goes with it, and any opposition will get you the Bishop Bill Love treatment -- a one way ticket out of TEC. As Jesus himself observed, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves."

In the famous words H. Richard Niebuhr, in his book The Kingdom of God in America: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross." For TEC that will mean exclusion, a frightening thought when you consider what Jesus had to say about the religious leaders of his time.


The Jesus in America study was a survey conducted using the probability-based KnowledgePanel. A total of 3,119 Americans, ages 18 and older, across a range of religions (Christian, non-Christian, atheist, and agnostic) participated in the study between Nov. 22, 2021, and Dec. 2, 2021. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For more information and the full range of results from the Jesus in America study, visit https://www.episcopalchurch.org/jesus-in-america/.

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