by Aaron Earls
Over 100 million Americans are expected to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, but, when they have to chose, church attendance is still the preference for most.
According to a new study from Public Religion Research Institute, a quarter (25 percent) of Americans say they are likely to be in church on Sunday, while 18 percent say they will be watching football. Another 25 percent said they would be doing both, while 32 percent said neither.
This is similar to recent Lifeway Research findings that narrowed down even further to ask regular churchgoers how likely they were to skip church for a football game.
More than 8 in 10 (83 percent) disagree with the statement: “I would skip a weekly worship service in order to watch my favorite football team,” with 68 percent strongly disagreeing.
While these numbers appear positive for churches, some of the demographic breakdowns are more troubling.
Women are more than twice as likely to be in church than watching football (32 percent to 13 percent), but men are more likely to be watching football (24 percent to 17 percent).
Younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to report they would neither be in church nor watching football. Four-in-ten Americans under 30 and 35 percent of 30- to 49-year-old Americans say they are likely to be doing neither activity, compared to about one-quarter (26 percent) of those 50 and over.
White evangelicals (45 percent), Catholics (30 percent), and minority Protestants (32 percent) are more likely to be attending church than watching the game. When combined with the percentage of those who do both, a clear majority of each group would be at church on Sunday.
In contrast, white mainline Protestants are just as likely to say they would be watching football on Sundays (21 percent) as to say they would be in church (23 percent).
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.photo credit: Keith Allison via photopin cc