Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Poll: What do most Americans think of the Bible?

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For all the hubbub over rising secularism in the United States, it seems that the vast majority of Americans are still a long ways off from a mass atheistic conversion (contrary to what fevered wingnuts seem to believe). Gallup has released a new poll showing what Americans believe regarding the veracity of the Bible, and the results, while not entirely depressing, aren’t all that heartening, either:

Gallup poll: “Views of the Bible” [1977–2011]
2011: “Actual word” = 30% | “Inspired word” = 49% | “Book of fables/legends” = 17%

So, the vast majority of US citizens still think the Bible contains the actual Word of God, whether directly dictated or divinely inspired. I honestly would’ve thought that the reality-based faction would have been on a steady (if tempered) rise over the last decade, but apparently, we took a plunge in numbers, instead.

Gallup also provides the usual background information, and unsurprisingly, it’s once again the irreligious educated liberals who are most likely to tell a book fables from godly verbiage. Gallup also gives us a neat and tidy summary of the results:


The percentage of Americans taking a literal view of the Bible has declined over time, from an average of 38% from 1976-1984 to an average of 31% since. However, highly religious Americans -- particularly those of Protestant faiths -- still commonly believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

In general, the dominant view of Americans is that the Bible is the word of God, be it inspired or actual, as opposed to a collection of stories recorded by man. That is consistent with the findings that the United States is a predominantly Christian nation and that Americans overwhelmingly believe in God.

At least, these previous polls show that those numbers are slowly but steadily rising (and lowering) in our favor. I suspect it won’t be too long before people finally begin to realize that any book that relates stories about talking snakes and divine zombies can’t really purport to call itself a book of truths without eliciting incredulous laughter. All in due time.

(via Joe. My. God.)