Monday, January 26, 2009

New Barna Survey on American Feelings About Wicca


The latest issue of The Barna Update touches on the subject of their national survey said to reveal the feelings of Americans on Wicca. Some of the results of the survey include the following excerpts:

A slight majority of Americans (55%) say they have not heard the term "Wicca."

Among the 45% who have heard of, the segments most familiar with Wicca include people younger than 60 (50% are familiar with the name, compared to 35% of older adults); Christian evangelicals (65%); Skeptics (61% of atheists and agnostics); Asian Americans (52%); upscale adults (62%); and those who describe themselves as socio-politically liberal in most cases (55%).

Among those who have heard of Wicca, nearly two-thirds (62%) described it as an organized form of witchcraft. Smaller proportions defined Wicca as a form of Satanism (7%) or as a religious cult (7%). About one-fifth (18%) said that although they were familiar with the name, they knew little or nothing about Wicca.

When asked to express their view of Wicca, 6% held a favorable view (2% very favorable and 4% somewhat favorable), and 52% held unfavorable views (7% somewhat unfavorable and 45% very unfavorable).

Perhaps the most intriguing response was from the remaining 43% who said they did not know what they thought of Wicca or had no particular opinion about it.

Those who possessed a "very unfavorable" view were most likely to be found among residents of the South and Midwest (52% of whom had a very unfavorable opinion); born again Christians (67%); and socio-political conservatives (61%).

5 comments:

Steve Hayes said...

Interesting statistics. I suppose I would include myself among those whose opinion of Wicca was neither favourable nor unfavourable, though that seems an odd kind of question to ask.

Yewtree said...

Good to know that the number of people who equate Wicca with Satanism is getting smaller.

It would be good to see more qualitative data on this as well.

Matt Stone said...

I would find this a very difficult survey to answer. I find some of what Wicca has to offer very thought provoking and stimulating, and I respect the search of Wiccans, but at the same time I don't look favourably upon any path which draws people away from Christ. That being said, I would say the same for fundamentalist Christianity. So, my response would be ambivalent.

hypatia said...

I've always had a favorable opinion of Wicca. That may be because I was brought up in a coastal quite cosmopolitan area and have known Wiccans. I don't understand the ignorance, fear, or closed minds of such a large percentage of the population. Read the parchment.

hypatia said...

I've always had a favorable opinion of Wicca. That may be because I was brought up in a coastal quite cosmopolitan area and have known Wiccans. I don't understand the fearful, closed minds so prevalent in this country. Read the parchment.