Nearly half of Americans would find it upsetting if an immediate family member were to marry an unbeliever, according to a new survey by the Pew Research on political polarization.
As many as 49 percent of Americans say they would be unhappy if a family member were to marry someone who doesn't believe in God, says the report of the survey called "Political Polarization in the American Public."
Among "consistent conservatives," this rises to 73 percent, Pew found. And 58 percent of those who are "mostly conservative" also say they wouldn't like for a family member to marry an atheist.
The survey, conducted from January through March this year, shows that liberals are much less likely to be unhappy with a non-believer marrying into their families, as 24 percent of "consistent liberals" and 41 percent of those who are "mostly liberal" say they would be unhappy.
What's striking is also that only 9 percent of Americans say they would be unhappy with a family member's marriage to a born-again Christian, Pew found. But 27 percent of consistent liberals say they would have a problem if a family member marries a born-again Christian.
However, consistent liberals are as likely to say they'd be unhappy with a family member's marriage to a non-believer (24 percent) as a born-again Christian (27 percent).
The survey also found that most Americans are comfortable with political diversity in their households.
Only 9 percent of Americans say they would be unhappy if an immediate family member were to marry a Republican, and about the same percentage (8 percent) would be unhappy about the prospect of a Democrat marrying into their immediate family.
Roughly equal percentages of Democrats (15 percent) and Republicans (17 percent) say they would be unhappy welcoming someone from the other party into their family, the survey says.
This discomfort is most prevalent among those who are the most ideological in their thinking, Pew found, as 30 percent of consistent conservatives say they'd be unhappy if a family member married a Democrat, while 23 percent of consistent liberals say they'd be unhappy if a Republican were to marry into the family.
While it was a national telephone survey of 10,013 adults on landlines and cell phones, roughly about a third were asked questions related to marriage with the margin of error being plus or minus 2 percentage points.