A Pew Puzzle

It’s not fair. It’s not pretty. But I get it—Anglicans get more seats in the US Congress than Pentecostals do. What I DON’T understand is the Catholic question. Any ideas?Pew congress faith

Here’s what we know: the Pew Research Center released its new numbers for the religious makeup of the new US Congress.  As usual, Protestants are heavily overrepresented in power, some denominations more than others. Anglicans, for example, make up almost five percent of Congress, even though they only make up one percent of the (adult) population. On the other hand, groups such as Pentecostals don’t get a fair shake. They are only 0.4% of Congress, even though they are five percent of the population.

It’s ugly, but at least it makes sense. Anglicans tend to be richer and whiter than America as a whole, whereas Pentecostals have traditionally been poorer and blacker. Not that it’s fair, but it isn’t a shocker to anyone who understands American politics. Money and power have always gone hand in hand.

But what’s the deal with Catholics? They represent a whopping 30.5% of Congress, even though they are only 21% of the population. What gives?

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2 Comments

  1. Patrick Halbrook

     /  March 20, 2019

    The Supreme Court is even more lopsided, currently at 55% Catholic and 11% Protestant, if we want to use percentages for such a small group of people (it was 66% Catholic and 0% Protestant before Scalia died). Whatever’s driving the religious make-up of the Court probably drives Congress as well, at least to some degree (https://religionnews.com/2018/07/12/why-catholics-and-jews-dominate-at-the-supreme-court/).

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  1. Why are Catholics Overrepresented in Congress? – Religion in Public

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