by Dr. Eowyn
No surprise there, given the recent and ongoing news about pedophile priests (even cardinals), and their enabling superiors.
Gallup has measured the public’s views of the honesty and ethical standards of a variety of occupations since 1976.
Before 1999, clergy members were frequently the most-highly rated professions for their ethics, but no more.
Megan Brenan writes for Gallup, Dec. 20, 2018, that Gallup has measured Americans’ views of the clergy’s honesty and ethics 34 times beginning in 1977. The high point was in 1985 when 67% of Americans rated the clergy very highly or highly.
This year, however, only 37% gave very high/high ratings on the clergy’s honesty and ethical standards — the lowest to date.
Positive views of the honesty and ethics of the clergy dropped in 2002 amid the first sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. Although positive ratings rebounded somewhat in the next few years, they fell to 50% in 2009 and have been steadily declining since 2012.
The latest low ratings of the clergy come on the heels of more investigations into child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the U.S. Currently, only 31% of Catholics and 48% of Protestants rate the clergy positively.
Here’s how other professions are regarded in Gallup’s recent poll (Dec. 3-12, 2018):
- Nurses are the most well-regarded: More than 4 in 5 Americans (84%) rate the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as “very high” or “high,” earning them the top spot for the 17th consecutive year.
- Four other professions are also rated as having “high” or “very high” honesty and ethical standards: medical doctors (67%), pharmacists (66%), high school teachers (60%) and police officers (54%).
- 12 occupations receive “average” ratings of 42% to 54% for their honesty and ethical standards. Among them are real estate agents (54%) and lawyers (51%).
- Members of Congress are again held in the lowest esteem, worse than car salespeople and telemarketers. Nearly 58% of Americans rate their representatives in Congress as having “low” or “very low” ethical standards.
- Incredibly, journalists are doing better: their 33% very high/high rating matches their record high in 1977 and is a 10 percentage point increase from two years ago in December 2016, when 41% of Americans held a negative opinion of their ethics. The rebounding of journalists is largely due to Democrats — yet another example of how Democrats and Republicans view reality very differently:
- 54% of Democrats gave very high/high ratings on journalists’ honesty, a 21-point increase since 2016.
- Among political independents, roughly one-third each say journalists have high, average and low ethics.
- Republicans‘ views are unchanged, with 61% giving journalists low ethics ratings.