NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Politics trumps God for most Americans when it comes to conversations with their friends.
Six in 10 Americans are more comfortable talking about politics than their spiritual beliefs. And most say they aren’t interested in having more spiritual conversations.
By contrast, evangelical Christians prefer talking about God over politics by a 2-to-1 margin.
Those are among the findings of an online survey of 1,004 Americans about their views on spirituality and politics from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
As part of the survey, researchers compared how often Americans talk to others about politics to the number of times they talk about spirituality.
Two-thirds of Americans (64 percent) say they had at least three conversations about politics in the last month. Eight percent had no conversations about politics.
By contrast, fewer than half (44 percent) had three or more spiritual conversations in the same time frame. Twenty-two percent had no conversations about spirituality.
Overall, 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent) say they’re more comfortable discussing their political views than their spiritual beliefs. But there are distinctions among certain groups.
Women (51 percent), those who go to church at least once a week (57 percent), and those with evangelical beliefs (63 percent) prefer to talk about their spiritual views. Men (69 percent) and those who don’t have evangelical beliefs (65 percent) prefer to talk about politics.
Most Americans also say they have about as many conversations about spirituality as they can handle.
About half (51 percent) say they have “just the right amount” of discussions on spiritual beliefs. A quarter (23 percent) want fewer spiritual discussions. Only 1 in 5 wants more. Six percent aren’t sure.
Still, many Americans are open to hearing what other people think about faith. About half (52 percent) believe they have as much to find out as they do to share during a spiritual conversation. A quarter (26 percent) say they have more to find out. A similar number (22 percent) think they have more to share.
Evangelicals are more likely to believe they have more to share (32 percent) in a spiritual conversation. They’re less likely to say they have more to find out (17 percent).