Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’ve written extensively about the biblical importance of the church becoming the community that breaks down ethnic and cultural walls and fosters reconciliation. To understand the varying cultures in your community look at these maps. They can provide a helpful introduction.
by Aaron Earls, LifeWay, 11/11/16.
…To be classified as an evangelical, a person must strongly agree with four belief statements:
- The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe
- It is very important for me to personally engage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin.
- Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
Using this definition, American evangelicals are a diverse group. Only 3 in 5 (62 percent) are white. African Americans (18 percent), Hispanics (17 percent), and other ethnicities (4 percent) make up about 4 in 10 American evangelicals by belief.
This definition creates a way to see evangelicals primarily as a religious group, says Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “The evangelical label has picked up political and social overtones that mask any patterns that are actually tied to evangelical religious beliefs,” he says.
Focusing on beliefs ensures the discussion centers around “those who share common religious anchors,” McConnell says. “This is a clearly defined group of people who agree on core teachings.”
Some research organizations use self-identification or church attendance to define the term evangelical. However, those with evangelical beliefs often don’t refer to themselves as evangelicals. Others belong to denominations that may not be considered evangelical.
That is particularly true among African Americans.
More than 2 in 5 African Americans (44 percent) strongly agree with the four theological statements in LifeWay’s model, the largest percentage of any ethnic group. However, only 25 percent of African Americans with evangelical beliefs actually self-identify as evangelical.
Hispanics with evangelical beliefs are most likely to self-identify as evangelicals. Almost 4 in 5 Hispanics with evangelical beliefs (79 percent) call themselves evangelicals. Thirty percent of all Hispanic Americans hold to evangelical beliefs.
BY D’VERA COHN, Pew Research, 6/19/15.
The Census Bureau is experimenting with new ways to ask Americans about their race or origin in the 2020 census – including not using the words “race” or “origin” at all. Instead, the questionnaire may tell people to check the “categories” that describe them.
Census officials say they want the questions they ask to be clear and easy, in order to encourage Americans to answer them, so the officials can better collect race and Hispanic data as required by law. But many people are confused by the current wording, or find it misleading or insufficient to describe their identity.
Census forms now have two questions about race and Hispanic origin. The first asks people whether they are of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin, and states that “Hispanic origins are not races.” A second question asks, “What is this person’s race?” and includes a list of options with checkboxes and write-in spaces. The U.S. government defines Hispanic as an ethnicity, not a race.
The problem with using the word “race” is that many Americans say they don’t know what it means, and how it is different from “origin.” The agency’s focus group research found that some people think the words mean the same thing, while others see race as meaning skin color, ancestry or culture, while origin is the nation or place where they or their parents were born.
The Census Bureau’s own definitions of race and Hispanic origin, which follow government-wide rules from the Office of Management and Budget, sometimes appear to overlap. A white person, for example, is defined as someone “having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.” Hispanic is defined as a person of “Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.”
The confusion reflects a larger debate about how to define race, which used to be seen as a fixed physical characteristic and now more commonly is viewed as a fluid product of many influences. “We recognize that race and ethnicity are not quantifiable values,” the Census Bureau said in a 2013 report. “Rather, identity is a complex mix of one’s family and social environment, historical or socio-political constructs, personal experience, context, and many other immeasurable factors.”
Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/18/census-considers-new-approach-to-asking-about-race-by-not-using-the-term-at-all/?utm_source=Pew+Research+Center&utm_campaign=a19d4f9cf5-June_18_Newsletter6_18_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-a19d4f9cf5-399907237
by Pew Research, 6/11/15.
AMERICAN CENSUS CATEGORIES FOR RACE & ETHNICITY IN AMERICA.
Free white males,
Free white females,
All other free persons,
Black, African American or Negro
Some other race
American Indian or Alaska Native
Guamanian or Chamorro
Other Pacific Islanders
Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano [+]
Another Hispanic, Latino, Spanish origin
*The U.S. Census Bureau does not consider Hispanic/Latino identity to be a race. Ethnicity is asked as a separate question. See Chapter 7 of “Multiracial in America” report for more details.
1960 onward: People could choose their own race.
2000 onward: Americans could be recorded in more than one race category on the census form.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Read more at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/interactives/multiracial-timeline/