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SBNR [Spiritual But Not Religious]

August 9, 2010

Check out this fascinating summary of recent research into the growing sub-set of Americans who classify themselves as “Spiritual But Not Religious” (known, in short, as SBNR). I, for one, would like to see the Episcopal Church in general (and St. Peter’s in particular) reaching out more to these folks. I think they may be surprised to learn they’d get along with us. Here’s the paragraph I found most interesting:

SBNR respondents were significantly more Democratic in their party identification and liberal in their ideological orientation than their religious counterparts. Following the work of George Lakoff, we might also hypothesize the SBNR individual to be less authoritarian than one who is traditionally religious. The data support this assertion as well: SBNR survey respondents were significantly less likely than religious respondents to agree with the statement, “It is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with a good hard spanking.” On a related note, definitions of morality might also be hypothesized to differ between religious and SBNR Americans, and, again, the data show that the two groups do differ significantly. Religious survey respondents are more likely to define “moral values” as “social issues, such as abortion or gay marriage,” “family values, such as trying to protect children from sex and violence on TV and the Internet,” and “compassion and concern for the sick and needy,” while SBNR Americans are more likely to define moral values as “social justice, such as preventing human rights abuses or discrimination,” and “personal values, such as honesty and responsibility.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Suzie Babcock permalink
    August 12, 2010 3:57 pm

    This reminds me of a missal in which some saints were designated HWNAV…holy woman, not a virgin.

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