As the researchers pointed out, respondents were much more likely to report feeling “warmly” toward the religious group they were part of; Catholics were all about other Catholics, evangelicals were enthusiastic about evangelicals, etc. Of all the groups in the survey, Jews felt most loyal to their own tribe; their mean “warmth” rating of other Jews was “89” out of 100, which roughly translates to “we’re totally awesome guys” on Pew’s ratings scale.
Still, despite the home-team advantage of the Christians in the survey, who made up more than two-thirds of the sample, Jews got the highest overall ratings. A good chunk of the respondents said they don’t even know any Jewish people; only 60 percent said they’d ever met a Jew. These feelings of warmth toward Jews aren’t just fond personal memories of Mrs. Rosenberg from down the street, who makes an excellent kugel; they’re a sign of a broad acceptance and appreciation of Jewish culture. Outside of New York City, Jews are generally rare in terms of numbers. Yet in spite of this, they’ve become seen as normal—and popular—by the population at large.
And yet the specter of anti-Semitism forever stalking the land is almost a trope now of the Greater Israel lobby. Josh Kovensky highlights more details from the survey:
Jews and atheists, though only 2 percent of the population each, are familiar to the majority of the public, with 61 percent of Americans knowing a Jew and 59 percent knowing an atheist (that they’re aware of, at least). These two groups had the “coolest” view toward Evangelicals out of any group, with atheists giving Evangelicals a 28, a rating rivaled in its frigidity only by Evangelicals’ perception of atheists, at 25. Evangelicals rated Jews at 69—as the report notes, “only Jews rate themselves more highly” at 89, the highest rating of any group by any group surveyed. The approval, however, is unrequited—Jews rated Evangelicals a 34. Atheists and Evangelicals share the same self-love, with each group giving members of their own tribe an 82.
Allahpundit ponders Evangelicals’ unrequited love for Jews:
White evangelicals view Jews “warmly” with a rating of 69; Jews, meanwhile, give evangelicals a rating of … 34, which is a point lower than their rating of Muslims. Could be that evangelicals, when asked about Jews, instinctively think of Israel and foreign policy whereas Jews, most of whom lean Democratic, think mainly of domestic policy when asked about evangelical Christians. Go figure that a socially liberal, solidly Democratic group would look skeptically at the GOP’s conservative base. When you ask Jews about a Christian group that’s not closely identified with either party, i.e. Catholics, the rating shoots up to 58, the second highest number (behind Buddhists) that Jews gave to any other group. That’s the proof, I think, that the numbers here are to some extent a proxy for politics rather than a gauge of religion.
Christopher Ingraham focuses on the left-right divide in the survey:
Overall, the Democratic spread between most-liked and least-liked faith groups is 18 points, compared to 38 points among Republicans. This reflects a number of political realities, the first being that Republicans are more than three times as likely as Democrats to be white evangelical Protestants. Republicans are also more likely to say that religion plays an important role in their lives. … Religious identity is less fundamental to the Democratic party, so Democrats’ disposition toward religious groups are more muted than Republicans’. In the end this makes for a broader religious coalition, but one with less intensity of feeling.