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Poll: Only 52 Percent of Americans Give Clergy High Marks for Honesty, Ethics

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Dec 07
  • Comments

Who do Americans regard as the most honest and ethical people in their lives? According to a new Gallup poll, most people would not say a pastor or clergyman, Christianity Today reports. The survey, in which respondents rated the "honesty and ethical standards" of different professions, found that 85 percent of Americans ranked nurses as "high/very high" and nearly three-quarters said the same about pharmacists -- but only 52 percent of respondents said clergy were highly honest. However, this number is up 2 percent from similar data in 2009, which marked the lowest recorded level of public trust in clergy in 32 years. Confidence in clergy has stayed relatively stable over time, ranging from 61 percent in 1977 to a high of 67 percent in 1985, and remaining consistently in the low 50s in recent years. And in 2012, clergy still fell within the top half of all rated professions, ranking eighth. Respondents regarded car salesmen and members of Congress as the least honest, garnering high/very high responses from only 8 and 10 percent, respectively.