Wednesday, December 26, 2007

God's Country.

With America's war against violent jihad entering its 7th year, Christmas just passing, and the political primary season heating up, religion is a significant issue today. Right on time, Gallup recently published a poll on American religiosity and found a lot of it. (Here.)

My own religious views are wildly ambivalent. I was raised Catholic but the allure of science and a Religious Studies degree from a Catholic University helped to drive me into atheism. (Talk about your unintended consequences.) I climbed out of the angry hate pit of atheism some time ago and have since lapsed into a kind of agnostic deism. Science sufficiently answers my nuts and bolts questions about the universe but provides no answers at all to moral questions. Religion provides those answers.

So put me down as a religious doubter who is unable to believe but who sees moral value in certain religious beliefs. Dennis Prager would say that I'm living off the moral capital provided by the religious upbringing foisted on me by my parents. In any event, I never attend religious services. That puts me in a distinct minority in the United States, whose citizens are much more certain about their religious beliefs than I. But enough about me.

The unsurprising results from Gallup's poll show that 82 percent of Americans identify with a Christian religion. That 82 percent includes Mormons, who may or may not be Christian, depending on your theological point of view. 11 percent identify with no religion and 2 percent didn't answer, which, using simple math, leaves 5 percent professing other religious beliefs.

About 40 to 45 percent report having attended a religious service in the past 7 days. (The precise number is not given in the linked story.) That low 40s percentage is described in the linked story as being "remarkably stable" over the years. The current percentage is down from a high of 49 percent in the 1950s but higher than the lowest point of 37 percent at the end of the Depression.

Certain trend lines are down indicating some loss of intensity in religious faith over the years. For instance, 56 percent now say religion is "very important" in their lives compared to over 70 percent in the 1950s and 1960s.

Yet, overall, the percentage of those professing religious belief, specifically Christian, remains pretty high.
"To summarize, more than 8 in 10 Americans identify with a religion and 8 out of 10 say that religion is at least fairly important in their daily lives; more than 8 out of 10 say they attend church at least 'seldom'; and again more than 8 out of 10 identify with a Christian religion."

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wonder if people will answer the religion question honestly. Lie, perhaps to sound more godlike. I don't think so many people go to church. I have to admit that i live in San Francisco, that could have clouded my objectivity.
"That 82 percent includes Mormons, who may or may not be Christian ..."

Where did THAT come from?

Of course Mormons are Christians -- the Bible, both Old and New Testaments are half of the cornerstone of the Later-Day Saints religious beliefs.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.

No, sir, Mormons will NOT steal and eat your children.

If you're interested in doing a bit of research, check out The Scriptures - Internet Edition at:

I put no value judgment on whether Mormons are Christians or not. In fact, I have respect for the way most Mormons live their lives. It's a fact, however, and it's in the news, that there is a theological debate over whether Mormonism is a Christian religion or something else. So, that's where "THAT" came from. But Mormons are fine with me.
And as a Mormon, I'm fine with you, Dave.

And thank you Anon for your defense of Mormons. You support is refreshing,
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