28 ANXIETY, NOSTALGIA, ANDMISTRUST whites by social class. Two-thirds (67%) of white working-class Americans agree that Islam is incompatible with American values and way of life, while white college-educated Americans are evenly divided (50% agree, 50% disagree). Majorities of every major Christian religious group say that Islam is incompatible with American values and way of life, including 73% of white evangelical Protestants, 63% of white mainline Protestants, 61% of Catholics, and 55% of black Protestants. By contrast, among Americans who identify with non-Christian religious groups (including Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and other world religions), only 37% agree, while 58% disagree. Religiously unaffiliated Americans are also far less likely to believe that Islam is incompatible with American values (41% agree, 58% disagree). Americans’ perspectives on Islam are also strongly influenced by their political leanings. A majority of independents (57%), and more than three-quarters of Republicans (76%) and Tea Party members (77%), agree that Islam is at odds with American values and way of life. Nearly six in ten (57%) Tea Party members strongly agree with this statement. By contrast, only 43% of Democrats say that Islam is incompatible with American culture, compared to 52% who disagree.
FINDINGS FROM THE 2015 AMERICAN VALUES SURVEY 29 Part IV. American Institutions and Government: Confidence and Representation Confidence in Institutions There is a wide disparity in the public’s confidence in major institutions in the country. While majorities of the public report having a great deal or some confidence in the police (75%), the criminal justice system (62%), and organized religion (55%), no more than half say they have a great deal or some confidence in the federal government (50%), news organizations (47%), and large business corporations (46%). There are large racial disparities in attitudes toward the police and the criminal justice system. More than eight in ten (83%) white Americans say they have a great deal or some confidence in the police, compared to roughly seven in ten (69%) Hispanic Americans and fewer than half (48%) of black Americans. A slim majority (52%) of black Americans say they have little or no confidence in the police. Similar racial gaps appear in views of the criminal justice system. Two-thirds FIGURE 11. How much confidence do you have in each of the following institutions in American society? Percent saying a great deal or some By party affiliation All Americans Republican Independent Democrat 100 90 80 60 40 75 71 70 70 62 71 59 59 60 59 55 55 51 48 50 44 47 46 42 44 40 43 41 20 0 The police The criminal justice system Organized religion The federal government News organizations Large business corporations Source: PRRI 2015 American Values Survey.