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June 23, 2011

Religious Opinion Survey Released

by juju2112

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life recently released a survey of evangelical Protestant leaders.

I am always cautious of survey results. People can lie about their answers and leading questions can skew the results. But these results seem interesting, so I thought I’d look at some of them.

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Whenever people ask me why I care if people are religious, I bring up pro-choice and anti-gay sentiment. The response is always “You don’t have to be religious to be against abortion” and “Not all religious people are anti-gay”.

This survey suggests that a majority of Protestant leaders DO think this way. Being religious certainly helps with these positions. Though not all pro-choicers have religious reasons for their position, religious thinking is still a major cause for leading people to this position.

Likewise, even if you’re religious and you’re not anti-gay, it should concern you that religious thinking can lead so many people to this position. If people really can be touched by the holy spirit, why are so many being led astray?

It seems religious leaders are split 50/50 on whether the bible should be taken literally and whether atheists can be good people. These are the areas we should be pushing them on. Regardless of whether people believe in God, the world would be a better place if more people came to the right side of these issues. And I think these are opinions we can change.

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Wow, it’s good to know religious leaders have such a low opinion of me. I would submit that we should focus on changing this opinion of us just as much as we do on criticizing belief itself.

If we can convince people that there’s nothing wrong with challenging others beliefs, the overall goal of ending irrational thinking will be much easier to attain.

There’s several other interesting statistics in the survey as well, but I don’t have the time to cover them all. If you want to check it out, the link is here:

http://pewforum.org/Christian/Evangelical-Protestant-Churches/Global-Survey-of-Evangelical-Protestant-Leaders.aspx

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