The New York Times reports on Muslim loyalty to the  U.S., which is high (see also First Things, and Commonweal with a handy chant).  A study compares loyalty to U.S. and loyalty to their religion for Mormons, Protestant, Muslims, Catholics, Jews, and atheists. I put the groups in that order to reflect the level of identifying with their religion.

That’s right, U.S. Catholics are behind Mormons, Protestants, and Muslims in their loyalty to their faith. Only 55% of U.S. Catholics identify “very strongly” or “extremely strongly” with their religion. For the top three groups the numbers are 90, 70, 65 respectively.

This is even stranger: only 39% U.S. Catholics identify strongly with those worldwide who share their religious identity. For Mormons and Protestants, it’s 81% and 50%. Catholics have the pope, the word “catholic’ means universal, and yet Catholics don’t identify with their fellow believers around the world? What’s going on??

Most of the news reports focus on Muslims in the U.S., which is understandable and appropriate. I propose  Pray Tell be a place to talk about Catholic identity in comparison to that of other religious groups. Why the differences?

Here’s the chart from Commonweal:

muslims-and-country1