A survey reported by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life reveals that less than 40 percent of Americans think that clergy offer any value to society.
The survey about perceptions of the value of various occupations was published yesterday and reveals that the profession that is held with highest regard is the military. Over three quarters of respondents believed that the military contributed "a lot" to society's well being. Teachers, medical doctors, scientists and engineers were also viewed favorably by the majority of respondents.
As to the clergy, Pew reports:
By contrast, just 37% of Americans surveyed think the clergy make a big contribution to society, about the same as in 2009. Regular churchgoers tend to be more positive about ministers, priests and other clergy members. But even among adults who say they attend religious services at least once a week, only about half (52%) rate clergy in general as contributing “a lot” to society, while 29% say the clergy make “some” contribution, and 11% say the clergy contribute “not very much” or “nothing at all.”
As to the public perception of other occupational groups, journalists, business executives and lawyers made the bottom of the list, with journalists losing the respect of women.