By Aaron Earls
Most churchgoers in America believe living in the U.S. is better than living most anywhere else, but some still feel ashamed about their home country—especially minorities and younger generations.
A study from Barna found three-quarters of Americans who have attended church in the past six months agree, “Generally speaking, the U.S. is a better country than most other countries.” Almost 4 in 10 (38 percent) agree strongly.
That number dropped among those who had traveled outside of the country. And the longer someone spent outside of America, the less national pride they felt.
Ethnic minority churchgoers were also the least likely to agree. With a third (33 percent) strongly agreeing the U.S. is generally a better country than most others.
Evangelicals are the churchgoers most likely to agree in America’s exceptional nature. More than half strongly agree (51 percent), while 30 percent somewhat agree.
Yet three-quarters of American churchgoers (75 percent) say there are some things about the U.S. today that make them feel ashamed. That’s slightly less, however, than the national average of 79 percent.
Ethnic minorities and millennials are the churchgoers most likely to feel strongly about their shame.
Almost half of minority churchgoers (46 percent) strongly agree that some things in the U.S. today make them feel ashamed, compared with 33 percent of whites.
The younger a churchgoer is the more likely they are to agree strongly that some things today in the U.S. bring them shame.
Among elders, only a quarter (25 percent) strongly agree. That climbs to 30 percent of boomers, 38 percent of Generation X, and 46 percent of millennials.
More active church attendance and holding to evangelical beliefs make someone more likely to strongly agree there are some things that make them feel ashamed about the U.S. today.
More than 4 in 10 (43 percent) practicing Christians, self-identified Christians who say their faith is very important in their lives and have attended worship service within the past month, say they strongly agree.
Among evangelicals, defined by Barna as holding to nine core beliefs, the number climbs to more than half (51 percent).
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.