A new study shows that Americans feel warmer towards Jews than any other religion.
People keep sending this story to me because, after all, I’m Jewish and they feel warmly toward me. And it is heartwarming to learn that Americans think Jews are pretty ok.
But pretty ok needs some discussion.
Americans feel slightly more positive about Jews than they do about other religious minorities. But Jews scored a 63/100 in this survey. That doesn’t mean that Americans think really highly of Jews. a 50/100 means someone doesn’t feel either positively or negatively about the religious group. So, people feel slightly better than neutral about Jews.
I mean, that’s not nothing. I probably would have been happy with neutral, given the way Americans report feeling about Muslims.
But here’s the conclusion from a piece in the Atlantic that I think captures the results rightly:
looking too closely at this whole experiment is an invitation to feel uneasy about pluralism in America. It’s unsettling that “63” out of 100 was the mean rating for the most popular group in the survey (and I’ll say it again, just because it brings me pleasure: that would be the Jews). Americans from all groups, it seems, feel pretty lukewarm about anyone who isn’t like them.