White Evangelicals, Islam and American Values

120723-CP-Color-BlindAccording to the Public Religion Research Institute’s survey, “What it Means to be American: Attitudes towards Increasing Diversity in America Ten Years after 9/11,” “Nearly 6-in-10 white evangelical Protestants believe the values of Islam are at odds with American values, but majorities of Catholics, non-Christian religiously unaffiliated Americans, and religiously unaffiliated Americans disagree.”

If the percentage is accurate, what does this say about American Evangelicalism? That white Evangelicals’ skin color often shapes their perception of Islam? Could it be that white Evangelicals are biased against Arabs and that this prejudice shapes their view of Islam, even though there are, I believe, more Asian Muslims than Arab Muslims? Could it be that white Evangelicals often have nostalgic and/or narrow views of what it means to be American—’white and Christian like me’?



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