Psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill asked American Christians what they believed God looks like, and apparently, God looks like the lunch manager at your local Applebee’s.
That is to say, a youngish, friendly looking white dude.
In a study published this week in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, researchers wanted to find out how people visualized God. Their sample of 511 Americans was made up of 330 men and 181 women, 26 percent of whom were black, and 74 percent white. Each participant looked through hundreds of pairs of faces to help determine what they believe God looks like.
“Participants saw God’s face as more masculine, Caucasian, attractive, intelligent, and loving,” the psychologists wrote.
That likely doesn’t surprise people familiar with so-called classic depictions of the Creator. As Kurt Gray, the study’s senior author, told NBC News: “People tend to believe in a God that looks like them. And most of the people who took part were male and white.”
But this was also true of “many black Americans,” said Gray, who, he says, depicted God as “white ... and with twinkling eyes.”
“For millennia, Christians have been led to think of God as male and white,” Gray told the news outlet. “It’s changing a little now, but the church hierarchies are still mostly male and mostly white. In the Catholic Church, for example, the pope is male and the priests are still only male.”
Maybe y’all’s pope, but as for me and my house, we worship at the House of Fenty.
Moral of the story: Imagine yourself a better God, America.