Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Pro Athletes Influence Society More Than Pastors, Say Two-Thirds of Americans

  • Religion Today Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2013 Feb 05

A new survey by the Barna Group released just before the Super Bowl suggests that Americans believe professional athletes influence society more than pastors "by more than a three-to-one margin," Christianity Today reports. According to the poll, 64 percent of Americans think pro athletes have more influence than professional faith leaders, whereas 19 percent think faith leaders have more influence. Eight percent say both have equal influence and 10 percent are unsure. "Sports figures are deemed most influential by those making $60,000-plus, college graduates, whites and parents," notes Barna. "Those most likely to select faith leaders were weekly church attenders and those with incomes under $40,000." Barna also found that 61 percent of Americans support athletes' public professions of faith, and perhaps most interestingly, only 32 percent of Americans said athletes' professions of faith made people "more spiritually minded."