Results of Our Reader Survey
One of our more enjoyable tasks this year was reading and tabulating the responses to our Reader Survey, which all our subscribers were given a chance to fill out (see our July-Aug. issue). We were pleasantly surprised by the volume of responses, which constituted 5.6% of our subscribers.
As for religious orientation, 72.2% of our respondents are Roman Catholic (a small percentage of that being Eastern-Rite Catholic), 7% moderate Protestant, 6.8% Episcopalian/Anglican, 5.6% liberal Protestant, 3.9% evangelical Protestant, 1.5% Eastern Orthodox, 1.5% “other,” 1.2% “none,” and 0.5% Jewish. (Here, as sometimes elsewhere, the percentages don’t add up to exactly 100% because of rounding off.)
Of the “others,” the most interesting response was “Barthian agnostic,” leading us to ask if Barth’s “Wholly Other” God didn’t at times become so distant as to be for all practical purposes nonexistent. A more pertinent query: How many other Catholic periodicals, even those which are theologically liberal, can claim a readership which is over 25% non-Catholic? Conversely, how many Protestant periodicals can claim a readership which is over 25% Catholic? We do know that the liberal Protestant Christian Century — which stresses its ecumenicity — allows that less than 5% of its readers are Catholic.
As for political orientation, 30% of our respondents are economically left but culturally conservative, 13.2% traditionalist conservative, 12% centrist or moderate, 10.3% conservative or neoconservative, 7.7% culturally liberal but economically conservative, 6.5% “other,” 5.8% liberal or neoliberal, 5% social democratic, 4.1% radical, 2.6% libertarian conservative, with 2.6% leaving the question blank. The most fetching “other” was “bemused observer.” Interestingly, a majority of respondents — 58.8% — are unwilling to assign themselves to one of the six conventional “left” or “right” categories.
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