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Does religion matter? Canadian religious traditions and attitudes toward diversity

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Chapter Summary

Most Canadians aren't very religious; they don't care enough about religion to fight over it. Religion is viewed as a private matter, a personal preference. Attitudes toward diversity are related to notions of prejudice and tolerance. Prejudice is inappropriate negative valuation of a category of people. Diversity means that people of different backgrounds coexist in close proximity. Pluralism is when people from different backgrounds seek mutual understanding and positive cooperation with one another. Attitudes toward sexual diversity are negatively affected by church attendance, while race-religion diversity seems unaffected by it. Conservative Christians are the stalwart protectors of the "traditional family" and provide the main support for lobby groups with conservative social agendas. It is only in areas of sexual diversity and inter-religious marriage that religion poses a threat to peaceful coexistence in diverse Canada. Religiosity can increase inclusiveness on the one hand, yet it can increase exclusivity on the other.

Keywords: Canadian; Christians; diversity; pluralism; prejudice; religion



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