When it comes to entrusting someone with fostering a discussion on the issues the nation is currently facing, Americans aren’t so sure who would be best for the task, according to a new study released on Thursday by LifeWay Research.
The study, conducted on 1,000 individuals randomly chosen between September 27 and October 1, asked participants, “In America today, who is in the best position to generate a healthy conversation on challenges facing our society?”
Out of a slew of choices including pastors, the President, members of Congress, the media, and university professors, the choice with the highest number of votes was ‘none of these’ (33 percent).
The second most popular choice was ‘our elected President,’ which received 23 percent of the votes. About 11 percent of survey respondents said pastors of local churches are in the best position to create healthy dialogue, and 10 percent said the same for university professors.
Members of the media, elected members of Congress, and business leaders all received similar amounts of votes (8 percent, 6 percent, and 7 percent, respectively). Professional sports players received 1 percent of the votes, while musicians received less than 1 percent.
“There’s a vacuum of public leadership in America,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “We know we have problems and that we should talk about them. But there’s no one who can bring us all together.”
Out of the various ethnic groups, black, non-hispanic survey participants were most likely to select ‘pastors of local churches’ (21 percent), while out of the religious groups, Christians were most likely to select the same (16 percent).
Those between the ages of 55 and 64 were most likely to select ‘pastors of local churches’ (17 percent) among the age groups. Some 10 percent of those 65 and older selected the same, while 7 percent of those 18 to 24 and 6 percent of those 25 to 34 said the same.
Younger survey participants were more likely to vote for members of the media (12 percent of those 18 to 24, 13 percent of those 25 to 34) as opposed to those who were older (3 percent of those 65 and older, 5 percent of those 45 to 54). Younger participants were also more likely to choose university professors (18 percent of those 18 to 24). However, only 7 percent of those between 25 to 34 chose professors, while 14 percent of those between 35 to 44 did the same.