Jewish Journal


December 29, 2008

Jews and Episcopalians—kindred spirits



Razib at Gene Expression did some graph plotting and found that Milton Himmelfarb’s old adage that “Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans” may no longer be true. It appears now that Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Episcopalians, too.

Episcopalians were once known as “Republicans at prayer.” But liberalizing forces in the church, from which conservatives recently split over treatment of homosexuality, have correlated with a rise in Episcopalians who identify as Democrats. Using the General Social Survey, Razib created a bunch of charts that show Episcopalians are a lot more like Jews than they are the average white Protestant.

While 40 percent of white Protestants believe the Bible is the written Word of God, only about 14 percent of Episcopalians and 8 percent of Jews agree. Razib charted three significant discrepancies between Jewish and Episcopal beliefs—homosexuality, human evolution from animals and the existence of heaven and hell.

Less than 20 percent of Jews believe in heaven, which reminded me of the above scene from “South Park.” It’s from an episode in which the boys are trying to build a ladder to heaven to retrieve a raffle ticket for a candy shopping spree from their perennially dying friend Kenny. After breaking through the clouds but still proving unsuccessful, everybody’s favorite anti-Semite says:

“I think maybe we’re not seeing heaven because one of us doesn’t believe in it enough. Heaven could be like the pixie fairies of Bubble Yum Forest. You only see them if you really believe in them. You know. Maybe we’re not seeing heaven because one of us is a J-O-O.”

The clip is after the jump:

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