from this article here

Thirty percent of Americans believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, according to a recent Gallup survey. While nearly 50 percent agree that Scripture is “inspired” by God, only three in ten say that it should be interpreted literally. Another 17 percent say the Bible is merely an ancient book of stories recorded by man. According to Gallup, the view that the Bible is divinely inspired, but should not be taken literally, has been the most common opinion over the 40 years that the pollster has been querying Americans on the issue. Gallup noted that the “high point” in the number of Americans believing in the literal interpretation of Scripture was 40 percent in 1980 and 1984, with the low coming in 2001, when only 27 percent said they thought the Bible was the actual, literal word of God.


Among specific religious groups, Gallup found that Protestant were the most hard-core in their convictions about the Bible, with 41 percent believing in a literal interpretation of Scripture and 46 percent saying it is inspired by God. By contrast, 21 percent of Catholics believe the Bible is the actual word of God, while the percentage goes up to 65 percent for Catholics who believe it is the inspired word of God. As for respondents claiming no religious persuasion, only five percent thought the Bible is the actual word of God while, predictably, 63 percent thought it was nothing more than a book of legends and fables.


so, does this mean that the fundies have a lot more work to do or perhaps our perception is driven by a media that seems obsessed with promoting christian dogma for some reason? if less than half of all christians in general don't believe the word of god is 100% accurate, then why are they so quick to defend it when science and truth prove it wrong?


any thoughts welcome!

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Maybe it has something to do with all the baby boomers reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning when they were very young children in school with that "under God' part and at social events such as sports, graducation, etc. It's just like this connected thing in the brain that's really just there to serve to connect people although it is baseless.

People, in general, are idiots.
can you add a bit more to the discussion perhaps Doug?
I think he hit the nail on the head honestly.
Picture in your mind how intelligent the "average" person is. Then realize that one half of the population is less intelligent than that.
That realization hit me kind of hard and sent a chill down my spine that froze my back to the seat. I must keep this short as it is pretty difficult to type with the icicles hanging from my blue fingers, but good grief I'm really scared now.

so sayeth george carlin.


Agreed ^_^

Americans, always skeptical of real education, are pretty much where they deserve to be.  And Doug is just stating the obvious and deserves no excoriation.
I agree. I also think Doug is referring to the saying "a person may be smart, but people are dumb."
There is a lot of media publicity for the literal biblical interpretation. There is also, perhaps, a higher number of vocal 'literalists' than those that consider themselves 'inspirationalists.'

Plato said: "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
I think it can apply to media representation as well as actual governance.

This is an interesting point James.


I wouldn't of guessed these numbers. Like you, it seems to me the media's focus is with the fundies. But then again, most if not the entire field of the republican's running for president have made reference to the literal nature of bible verse. Maybe gallop got it wrong? Maybe people didn't give their true answers? But what is out there is much more to the right of hard core christian beliefs then what gallop suggests.

I think in reality it is also less - people claim higher number in polls to try to make themselves feel less cognitive dissonance.


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