These are the Jewish Americans sketched in a new Pew Research Center survey, 62 percent of whom said Jewishness is largely about culture or ancestry and just 15 percent who said it’s about religious belief.
But it’s not just Jews. It’s a phenomenon among U.S. Christians, too.
Meet the “Nominals” — people who claim a religious identity but may live it in name only.
They’re proud — but not practicing — Catholics. They’re Protestants who don’t think Jesus is essential to their salvation.
And they’re Jews who say they belong to the tribe by way of ancestry or culture, not religion. Indeed, many miss the most fundamental divide between Judaism and Christianity: The Pew survey found 34 percent of Jews say it’s OK to see Jesus as the Messiah and still call themselves Jewish.