Tom Garrity

Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Religion

In Reputation on November 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.31.50 PMFaith and religion are intertwined with New Mexico history and who we are as a society.

Generally, more than 70 percent of New Mexico residents place a high value of faith in their personal life.  Their favorability of religious institutions and trust of religious leaders isn’t far behind.

Sixty five percent of New Mexico residents, on average, have a favorable view of religious institutions.  Sixty one percent of residents, on average, have a favorable view of religious leaders.

However, drilling down into the numbers shows the impacts that scandal can have on perceptions of any industry.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.32.43 PMIn 2013 and 2014, lawsuits against the Catholic Church, alleging abuse by several priests against parishioners, were in the headlines.  The New Mexico lawsuits were filed in 2013 and were reflected, in part, when the 2014 survey was in the field in February/March of that year.

The lowest levels of trust and favorability of religious leaders and institutions were seen in the 2013 and 2014 surveys.  When news started to hit, Statewide trust of religious leaders dropped ten percent and favorability of religious institutions dropped eight percent.

The negative hit was most evident among resident’s trust of priests in areas where there is a high level of catholic residents. Specifically, trust of religious leaders went from a high of 74 percent in 2013 to a low of 41 percent in 2015, a drop of 33 percent over the course of the year.  Trust of religious leaders in that region has still not recovered and trust among North Central residents remains the lowest in the state (an average of 58 percent).

Conversely, areas with high level of protestant membership (Northwest and Eastern New Mexico) saw increases in trust of their religious leaders during that time.  In fact, residents in Northwest New Mexico saw an eleven percent increase in trust from 2013 to 2014.

Paralleling legal settlements was an aggressive effort by the Catholic Church to own the narrative of showing compassion to the victims.  This resulted in a gradual increase of trust and favorability for all pastors and priests as well as churches.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.32.23 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

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GPS: The Importance of Faith

In Life on April 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm

The conclusion of Easter and Passover, provides a moment for many people to reflect on the importance of faith in their personal lives. 

New Mexico has a very diverse “faith” history.  Native American Spirituality, Spain’s quest to promote the Catholic religion, the rich Jewish history in our state, a growing base of Eastern religions and the long established Christian outreach to people in urban and rural areas is a hint of how important faith is in New Mexico.

Curious about the importance of faith in the lives of New Mexico residents, my public relations firm ask a question on the topic in our recently completed Garrity Perception Survey.

The question was simple, “what is the importance of faith in your personal life?”  It didn’t focus on a specific religion, theology, practice, mantra, belief (or lack there of) or relationship.  The possible responses were very important, fairly important, not very important and don’t know/won’t say.

Overwhelming, New Mexico residents responded that faith is very important (74 percent) in their personal life.

Hispanic’s rely on faith more than Anglo residents and women more so than men.

New Mexico residents in the age ranges of 35-49 years and over 60 years of age rely more on it than other age groups.

Republicans outpace democrats; but democrats rely on faith more than both independent and nonregistered voters.

The connection between income and faith is interesting.  New Mexico residents who are “in the middle” rely on more faith than those with higher and lower incomes.

While it is interesting to see how faith is viewed in different parts of New Mexico, I found it particularly interesting that Albuquerque residents have the lowest reliance on faith in our state.

Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, relied on her personal faith, choosing death instead of compromising her belief.  As I reflect on the results of this question, I wonder how many of the 74% that replied “very important” would be willing to make the same sacrifice as Cassie. 

Yes, there are some questions that just can’t be answered in a survey.