Responses from Episcopalians in the Baylor Religion Survey

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out and see what you make of the analysis.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Data

18 Comments
Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Bob Livingston wrote:

I think there may be hints here but the data are almost certainly skewed by the tiny universe (59) and the infinitesimal sample size for some of the questions. If I remember some of my statistics courses, the margin of error for many of the answers would approach +/-50%.
The questions themselves seem well thought-out and to the point. It’s just that number 59 divided by n=>1 that destroys the credibility of the results to any relevant degree.
Bob

February 25, 6:22 am | [comment link]
2. Brent B wrote:

Bob,
Actually, it might be even worse—the numbers for the different groups (left, middle, right) are 20, 15, and 16. You are right that they should be taken with a grain of salt. However, I did the size and income tables to see if the data matched other information that we have either seen or heard about. And they did. That doesn’t mean the rest is equally representative, but it bears consideration.

Brent

February 25, 10:02 am | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

This explains a lot of the comments I see on blogs about the Episcopal church not investing much in spreading the Gospel. If the average person in the pew does not consider it important (and overall, 72 percent consider it either not very or not at all important), the parishes will not invest in it.

February 25, 10:13 am | [comment link]
4. Sarah1 wrote:

Although it’s not a reliable survey it pretty much pictures the view from the ground and in the pew, which is that those who claim that same-gender sexual relations are a good and blessed thing have far far deeper fissures and revisions from basic Nicene Christianity. 

Not a surprise for any Episcopalian who has been out in blog land for a while.  We do not really share the same gospel, even as we are in one organization.

February 25, 10:16 am | [comment link]
5. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

My experience of Episcopalian lay people is that our conservatives aren’t as radical as in other denominations. They seem to be more thoughtful and less knee-jerk on issues, except for homosexuality.

The survey (with all its limitations) doesn’t surprise me at least in the local parishes I’ve been a part of.

February 25, 10:27 am | [comment link]
6. RazorbackPadre wrote:

#5 “They seem to be more thoughtful and less knee-jerk on issues, except for homosexuality.”

This implies that when “conservatives” speak a resolute no to the homosexual agenda, they are showing themselves to be “knee-jerk” “radicals.” Did you mean to say that?

February 25, 10:43 am | [comment link]
7. Eric Swensson wrote:

59 is a tiny number, too small to say anything definitive. I think the most challenging issue (and this holds from some other surveys I’ve seen of Lutherans) is how few read the Bible or pray outside of the church building. Given that a pretty good percentage report they go a few times a year ...
I also shared Robroy’s dissapoint (#3) and had cut that to paste here!
All in all, revival, friends, revival is what we need. Pray for it

February 25, 10:43 am | [comment link]
8. robroy wrote:

The last official polling of the guy in the pew in the Episcopal Church was in the 1980’s. There was an attempt in the late 90’s that was quashed by Griswold. This enables the likes of Griswold and Schori to talk about eensy-weensy teeny-tiny minorities without having to deal with reality.

February 25, 11:05 am | [comment link]
9. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

#6…Most “all” or “nothing” opinions generally lack careful thought. When careful thought is utilized, most opinions tend to be nuanced (grey area), even though tending toward right, centre, or left.

February 25, 11:11 am | [comment link]
10. Undergroundpewster wrote:

I don’t think we will see an official polling from the grand high poohbahs as #8 points out. It would be the death knell if these numbers were confirmed and then publicized, so don’t expect any such poll to be requested from the national level. How about conducting the poll in your own church? 
Not Another Episcopal Church Blog

February 25, 11:50 am | [comment link]
11. Wilfred wrote:

Virgil, your #9 assertion that strong & precise beliefs are not derived thoughtfully, sounds itself like a knee-jerk & poorly thought-out bias toward ambiguity.

In my experience, the opposite is true.  Strong opinions usually indicate the holder of them has given at least some thought to the matter.  “Nuanced” opinions usually indicate the opinion-holder either doesn’t care, has given the matter little thought, or hasn’t come to any conclusions. 

Most people can tell you who they think should be President; very few have an opinion of who should be elected County Registrar of Mesne Conveyance.

February 25, 11:51 am | [comment link]
12. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:

#11…Actually, my assertions have come from a careful analysis of the relationship between metaphysical polarities in relation to epistemological theories.

Your experiences (or possibly your interpretations of those experiences) differs considerably from mine, although my experiences are hardly a representative sample.

February 25, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
13. Choir Stall wrote:

Our church was established in the 20s due to the Protestant Episcopal Church’s emphasis on mission, education, and expansion. Those old ghostly pictures of a full church, active laity, and emphasis on formation can’t be ignored. If farmers and craftsman families (much more busy than we) can pull it off and can participate then I have no sympathy for moderns who seem so “distracted”. Haul out your old pictures. Talk about the past. Shame the Church.

February 25, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
14. Chazaq wrote:

Virgil, not to be mistaken for the theoretical metaphysics of polar epistemology.

February 25, 12:50 pm | [comment link]
15. Undergroundpewster wrote:

For anyone interested, I put together the questions so you can give the survey to your vestry members.
Not Another Episcopal Church Blog

February 25, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
16. Sherri wrote:

I find the picture here pretty disturbing across the board, “conservative” to “liberal.” No wonder we don’t understand each other - it seems like we haven’t s pent much time learning what our faith is. My church has had a study group going for about a year now. An old member returned to the church Sunday after several years away. When we told him about it, his eyes lit up. He said, “That’s something I don’t feel like I’ve ever had.” Saying the words during the eucharist doesn’t give one an informed faith all by itself. Especially if you only do it two or three times a year. :-(

February 25, 9:11 pm | [comment link]
17. Brent B wrote:

#16
I agree. I was surprised to see that overall, only 15% read the Bible at least weekly (22% among the “right”). This seems like such a basic part of growing as a Christian that it is no surprise the other responses indicate a real distance from understood moral behavior on such clear cut cases as not having extramarital success.

February 25, 10:18 pm | [comment link]
18. Bob Livingston wrote:

#2 Brent B
Point well taken. It points out the wisdom of my choice in 1960 to major in history. ;>}
Bob

February 25, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
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