Gallup Polls On Religion

I just came across a short article from UPI.com: Gallup poll: Religion, intolerance related.  It doesn’t go into much detail but points to some correlations.

The polls found that religion is less likely to be important to residents of rich countries, who are also more likely to be tolerant. But Gallup said the greater intolerance reported in religious countries cannot be explained just by differences in income.

Gallup analysts also said there are large differences among the world’s religions. Hindus are the least likely to perceive their countries as bad places for members of ethnic or religious minorities, while Jews are the most likely.

Christians also appear to be generally tolerant of minorities, while Muslims, Buddhists and Jews are not. Both Muslims and Jews in Israel appear far less tolerant than co-religionists living elsewhere.

This is the kind of information that is needed.  It’s politically incorrect to point out that not all religions are equal in all ways.  This is where a theoretical context is necessary.  Ken Wilber developed his Integral theory in order to make intelligent distinctions and understand the relationship between diverse factors.  Wilber says that not all religions are equal, but he also says that no one is stupid enough to be wrong all of the time.  It’s important to separate what is true from what is false, what is good from what is not so good.

Wilber favors Eastern meditation traditions, but this Gallup poll shows that there are distinctions.  Buddhism is popular in the US and yet Buddhism apparently is less tolerant of minorities than Hinduism.  This makes sense in that Hinduism seems very embracing of diversity.

To understand this poll data, further research would be necessary.  The type of research that I’m thinking of is something like Spiral Dynamics which is used by Wilber.  Spiral Dynamics is a model that clarifies the social development of values and how the different phases of development relate.  Another kind of research that would be helpful would be personality traits such as the Big 5.  Certain traits such as Openness would probably have direct correlation to tolerance.  Also, a different trait theory is boundary types.  Thin boundary types are more accepting of new experience.  Cultures encourage and discourage particular traits.  Both Spiral Dynamics and traits theories have been applied to various cultures, and it would be interesting to correlate the research of these with this Gallup poll.

On a related note, here is an article about Islamic Anti-Americanism.  The author discusses an earlier Gallup poll.  I only skimmed it, but it looks interesting.

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