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Saturday, February 24, 2007
Revealing Our Bias
This recent Gallop poll is all over the internet, so I thought EW might as well weigh in on it.

I do realize that a few of those categories correspond to actual current candidates, and my intent is not to start a political debate, but to perhaps examine the causes for this. How deep do our prejudices, hated, and fears run?

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posted by Julie at 12:02 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2/24/2007 07:47:00 AM, Blogger Lydia

    How deep do our prejudices, hated, and fears run?

    On the one hand, I think it's amazing that over 90% of the respondents wouldn't be influenced against voting for a qualified candidate who happened to be Black, Jewish or Catholic.

    And most people wouldn't be bothered by a female candidate either. That's a great deal of progress we've seen in just a few short decades.

    On the other hand, we still seem to be taking one step backwards for every two forward steps.

    But at least we're still walking.

  • At 2/24/2007 09:05:00 AM, Anonymous Linda

    Wow! I didn't realize ageism was so prevalent. However, like Lydia, I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the other results. Thanks for sharing this info. I hadn't seen it yet

  • At 2/24/2007 10:59:00 AM, Blogger Happy

    Wow. I don't think I realized how many factors could influence who you voted for... really, in a perfect world, we would simply vote for the person we thought would do the best job, right? But there are factors that weigh into even that: being a president is hard work and comes with a demanding schedule - so while being 72 might mean you bring a lot of life experience and wisdom to your job, it also means an all-nighter in a national emergency isn't as do-able... is it prejudice or fear that would lead us to not vote for an older candidate? or just plain practicality?

    And is it practical or prejudiced to want your president to at least attempt to be following God in his job?

    Years ago, right after Clinton was elected, I was at college, and was challenged to think about God's sovereignty in relation to politics. Paul advised the early church to obey the government and pray for their leaders and try to live at peace as much as they could - strong words in an era shortly thereafter where the Roman government hunted down Christians and killed them for sport. So while we should prayerfully vote for the person we feel would best serve our country, at the end of the day, God knows who will end up in office, and regardless of how we feel about the president elected, maybe we should simply pray for that person to do their job well... sorry, that's a bit off the subject, but I was thinking of it this morning as I looked at that survey because of a car I was stuck behind in traffic one day this week that was plastered with fairly negative political bumper stickers.

  • At 2/26/2007 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Ari

    I'm really surprised about the atheist result.

  • At 2/26/2007 12:30:00 PM, Blogger sonja

    Well ... I don't buy those results.

    Call me cynical ... and I likely am. But these polls where people are self-reporting on what they think they will do in the future are usually suspect. It's when the chips are down and they have to report on what they actually did at the polls that we see where the prejudices lie (and I used that double entendre on purpose).

    Given all the ruckus over extra-marital affairs, I don't believe that anyone would vote for someone who had been married even two times, let alone THREE. Someone who has been married multiple times has to have engaged in an extra-marital affair somewhere along the way.

    Given reactions to Hilary Clinton and other women in leadership across the country ... I don't buy the idea that that number of people are not bothered by voting for a woman.

    I wonder what the pool of the poll was and when the data was gathered. It's just suspicious to me. Maybe it's because I grew up with a statistician father, but those numbers don't jive with what I see out on the street.

  • At 2/26/2007 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Sonja - I had some of the same reaction. From my everyday exposure to the church and suburbia - prejudice is alive and kicking. Women don't even trust women to lead. I've heard people say that the only good thing about Obama is that he will prevent Hillary from getting the nomination. I think my biggest surprise through has been to see how many conservative Christians are excited about Mitt Romney. I ask them if they are okay that he's a Mormon and they respond in shock - they had no idea he's a Mormon.

    I just think its interesting that as it stands in popularity now there are people who will have to face their prejudices in the voting booth. I just wish it could come down to who's the better candidate instead of which prejudice are they least bothered by...

  • At 2/26/2007 04:38:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    Happy - interesting thoughts. I invite you to join in on reading our April book selection - Colossians Remixed where the concept of religion under empire plays a huge role.

  • At 2/27/2007 03:46:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

    I suppose the age thing might also be because people might assume that a much older candidate is out of touch with contemporary culture.

    Also, I'm not sure that multiple marriages would really be all that much of a problem. Just look at Reagan. He had been married several times, and still got elected with overwhelming support, and that was almost 30 years ago!


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