Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AOTD: The Latest Religion Poll

First a side note: I first read this in my local printed paper, and then came home and searched on the paper's site so I could quote more easily. They're not exactly the same story (the printed article is the Boston Globe version, and the online is the AP article). What interests me is the spin, indicated here just by headline, each version of the story puts on it:

  • Americans see truth in a range of faiths, massive study finds (Boston Globe website)
  • Religious Americans: My faith isn't the only way (AP article online and local paper website)
  • Majority of Americans are believers, poll says (printed local paper)

Um, different emphasis much? Not that there's necessarily anything WRONG with that, it's just....interesting. "Yay tolerance!" "Yay tolerance!" "There are lots of us!"

The survey was conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Pew pew pew.
The findings...can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don't know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.
The numbers:

  • 92 percent of Americans believe in God
  • 74 percent believe in life after death
  • one in four Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox Christians expressed some doubts about God's existence, as did six in ten Jews

  • 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life
  • 63 percent say their respective scriptures are the word of God
  • 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion

  • 21 percent of self-identified atheists said they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8 percent "absolutely certain" of it


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