Pew examines who loves God and guns.
One of past President Barack Obama’s most infamous quotes was his 2008 campaign trail comment on small-town citizens that “cling to guns or religion.” New research identifies how many Americans actually favor both.
Two out of five self-identified white evangelicals own a gun, higher than any other religious group, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center. Four out of five have fired one.
But only a quarter of white evangelical gun owners are members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and more white evangelicals actually want US gun laws to be more strict than less strict. (A plurality are satisfied with the status quo.)
Pew gave CT an exclusive look at the religious breakdowns behind its recent comprehensive report on firearms (which excludes air guns such as paintball, BB, and pellet guns).
The 41 percent of white evangelicals that own a gun surpasses the 33 percent of white mainliners, the 32 percent of the religiously unaffiliated (or “nones”), the 29 percent of black Protestants (two-thirds of whom identify as evangelical, according to Pew), and the 24 percent of Catholics who own one also. (By comparison, 30 percent of all American adults report owning a gun.)
However, the most faithful aren’t packing the most heat.
Americans who attend religious services weekly were less likely to own a gun than those who attend less frequently (27% vs. 31%). And Americans with a high level of religious commitment were less likely to own a gun than those whose commitment is low (26% vs. 33%).
At the same time, highly religious gun owners are twice as likely to belong to the NRA as less religious gun owners (24% vs. 12%). Gun owners who worship weekly are also more likely to join the …
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