Tag Archives | polls

Poll Reveals Americans Blending New Age, Eastern, Traditional Religions

What happens when you combine Christian fervor with a steadfast belief in astrology and reincarnation? 21st century America seems to be generating hybrid faiths, ABC News reports:

A new poll finds Americans are doing a tremendous amount of personalizing – picking and choosing from a diverse variety of religious traditions. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, nearly six in 10 Americans from all religions blend their faith with New Age and Eastern beliefs, like astrology, reincarnation, and the spiritual – not just physical – benefits of yoga.

The poll further found that nearly half of the public, 49 percent, report having a “Religious or mystical experience… a spiritual awakening.” That’s up from 22 percent in 1962. And 29 percent of Americans say they’ve felt in touch with someone who died — that’s up from 18 percent in 1996.

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In U.S., Muslims And Atheists Most Opposed To Violence

lotfi_morteza20110713105003873Is violence targeting civilians ever justified in the name of a worthy cause? U.S. Christians say yes, atheists and Muslims say no. Raw Story writes:

New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.

Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly.

The survey was designed to measure religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence 10 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps most tellingly, 92 percent of Muslims surveyed said they did not believe any Muslim in their community had sympathy toward al Qaeda terrorists.

When Gallup put the question a bit more pointedly, asking if it would be justified for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” the responses were a bit more uniform.

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God’s Approval Rating Falls To 52 Percent

hands_of_god(1)We all know that the vast majority of Americans believe in God. However, that doesn’t mean they like him. The Atlantic Wire writes:

Public Policy Polling released the results of a survey today that included the question: “If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?” Fifty-two percent of the 928 respondents approve of the job the Almighty’s done while 9 percent disapprove. So about half the public isn’t too thrilled with the way God is handling, well, everything.

Seventy-one percent of the American public approves of God’s handling of the creation of the universe, 56 percent approve of (his? or her?) handling of the animal kingdom, and even 50 percent like the way he manages natural disasters.

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Does ‘Public Opinion’ Really Exist?

100602601_348e347e48_oFlip on cable news, and within twenty minutes the host will cite the latest survey as proof of which candidates should run for office and which foreign enemy we must now smite. Writing for New Left Media, John Brissenden tears apart the idea of opinion polls as a gauge for determining what anyone truly wants. The public may respond to opinion polls, but it’s the media, business, and political elite who compose the questions:

From its inception a century ago, and in its current construction, the terrain of ‘public opinion’ is far from being a neutral space where a representative democracy deliberates and resolves issues. At best, ‘public opinion’, as represented in opinion polls, is a deeply flawed mechanism for gauging the extent of wider support for a particular cause. At worst, it is hostile territory, constructed and owned by the ruling class.

In the 1920s, polling pioneers such as James Gallup advocated polls as a means of capturing and expressing the public will, in a more scientific – and therefore representative – way than, for example, pressure groups.

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A Third Of Texans Say Dinosaurs And Humans Coexisted

Does a third of the population believe that “The Flinstones was a documentary”? In a poll, one out of three Texans say that humans and dinosaurs lived together at one point. Oh, and, the majority say that humanity did not develop from an earlier species. The Texas Tribune reports:

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

[Professor David] Prindle recall[s] a line from comedian Lewis Black. “He did a routine a few years back in which he said that a significant proportion of the American people think that the ‘The Flintstones’ is a documentary,” Prindle says. “Turns out he was right.”

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