Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Power Denominations: Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Jews

Steve Prothero has just release his analysis of the 112th Congress. He notes that three denominations are vastly overrepresented there. Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Jews together make up just 5.9% of the population. However, they make up nearly a quarter of the Congress, at 23.4%.

These three denominations are not merely the best educated and richest denominations, which we should always expect to be over-represented in the halls of power. These three traditions also have the best developed theories - along with Congregationalists and Catholics - of how to wield power. They develop in their members a stronger sense that they should take on the burden of responsibility for the common good.

It is fascinating to see that Jews have displaced Congregationalists among the Big Three power denominations. I think this a very good sign about the state of American pluralism.


Whit said...

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” - C. S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

I love C.S. Lewis.

Unknown said...

I wonder how many of that 23.4% belong to their particular denomination in name alone vs. the number who actively practice that faith.