Poll: Americans Want A Faithful President But The Right Faith

A new poll below shows just how wedded the American voters are to faith-based politics. Two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39%) or somewhat important (28%) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. However, it has to be the right religion. Forty-three percent admitted that they would be uncomfortable with a Mormon in the White House. The numbers are even greater in opposition to a Muslim (64%). However, it is an atheist that draws the most universal opposition. Sixty-seven percent say they would not want an atheist in the White House. It would indicate that the attacks on atheists (and here) in this country and abroad may be resonating with voters and that faith-based politics remains good politics for candidates.


There are some interesting details like that fact that Democratic voters are more opposed to a Mormon president than Republicans. Fifth percent of Democratic voters (50%) express discomfort on the issue over Republican voters (36%) or Independent voters (38%). What is also interesting is that younger voters are less comfortable than older voters.

The news is not good for Obama either. The number of people unhappy with Obama has not significantly changed with 45% approve and 44% disapprove. However, a majority (54%) of white Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling his job as president. Yet, 88% of African Americans approve of his performance. The poll suggests that people like Obama . . . they just don’t like him as president.

It is a study worth browsing if you have the time.

PRRI-2011-American-Values-Survey-Web

Source: American Values

64 thoughts on “Poll: Americans Want A Faithful President But The Right Faith

  1. More important to me is why those 44% disapprove of Obama. My guess is 27% because he is a foreign born Muslim socialist and 17% are like me – I thought I was voting for a Democrat so having a Republican President take office in his place is disappointing to say the least.

    Given that religious belief is no indicator of moral behavior I don’t understand the strong requirement. I’d vote for any atheist with a strong commitment to American virtues over the string of Christians we have had recently who seem more intent on destroying America than lift us up.

  2. I have seen the view expressed that the only way you can have any sense of morality and right-and-wrong, is if you are go-to-church-on-Sunday religious. So all atheists are evidently thieves, murderers, and jaywalkers. And no doubt the reason we feared the Soviet Union was not only that they were Communists, but they were Godless Communists…..

    It’s a bit hard to square that with pedophile priests, but what does logic have to do with anything?

  3. That figure on Republicans being less inclined to reject a Mormon candidate suggests pretty strongly that whatever the religious predispositions of voters may be, they are not deeply held.

    The question is whether upon being presented with a choice of two final candidates in an election, whether the religious affiliation of one candidate versus the other candidate is going to make all that much difference to any particular voter.

    Brad Pitt, for example, is going to be elected Homecoming King regardless of whether he is Mormon or an atheist. Polls need to be put in context.

  4. I am an atheist.

    In my experience, Americans really only follow a tiny core of their religion, basically the universal ideas (shared by most atheists I know) that it is wrong to lie, cheat, steal, rape, kill or otherwise get your way by dint of force. Both of us (religionists and atheists) believe that should be the rule.

    The big difference is that religionists want a supernatural enforcement of those rules, and religions generally provide it, whether the religion is witchcraft or Christianity or a belief in reincarnation; a central tenet of virtually all religions is some kind of supernatural retribution for evil deeds.

    Religionists believe (and paradoxically, only for other people, not them) that without the threat of supernatural enforcement, other people will prey on the weak, including them.

    Atheists have what at first seems like a darker view; but which I believe is more realistic and more hopeful: that only a small percentage will commit “big” evils, that there is no supernatural enforcer, so the enforcement against that small percentage is up to us to do as best we can.

    Why would I think that is the more hopeful view? Because it means we can do something, that we can engineer something, that we collectively have at least some control and can thwart evil.

  5. During an election cycle all presidential candidates are photographed coming out of a church with a smiling family by his side. If they can find one that is white sitting on a green grassy hill with a white steeple all the better. (ALA Norman Rockwell)
    Image not faith is what matters.
    As for Brad Pitt being crowned Homecomming King, It is my theory that the handsomer of the candidates will win. Taller over shorter. Thinner over heavier. (There will never be a fat president again. Taft’s huge bathtub can sit in the White House cellar.)

    Most church goers that I know have very little faith. but in their community it would be an embarrassment to be seen Not attending. Church too often is the Club. And if you are a church goer you can be sanctimonious when you see someone doing something you disapprove of or rather you see someone do something the club disapproves of.

    Atheism is one of the biggest social buggaboos left in this country. It is better in a lot of areas to claim to be Wiccan than atheist. A Wccan may be Saved but Ooohhhhh an atheist is going to rape, murder, pillage and as Jay said Jaywalk. Everyone knows that they themselves wont do any of the above but fears all others. And as a country we have been taught that the only thing keeping society from anarchy is Jesus. I rarely tell anyone I am atheist. I did tell a family friend who I considered a true and faithful Christian as she practiced what she believed and didn’t berate or belittle people who believed differently. She was a rare one. A good friend and gentle lady.

    I’m glad that homosexuals are becoming more socially acceptable. The closet is much roomier now.

  6. Thus it has been since 1776 when we actually went to war to establish this nation.

    I always liked what Ben Franklin had to say in a letter to his father in 1738:

    “I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did.”

    I like it because of the final few words. No one really knows, everything is just an opinion but one can’t go wrong in being able to welcome an examination knowing that what one thought was irrelevant and that what one did is all that counts … whether it be here or there.

  7. Who is the base of the American voting public?

    How many voters come from places where the separation of church and state is not valued as here in the US?

    Is that number changing?

    If the population just hit 7 billion, and Americans are older and not having so many kids anymore….there is an exogenously induced change that is not being met by iatrogenic values….if we are going to be ‘welcoming’ and a place that values diversity ANDindividual freedoms and rights AND freedom of religeon…how do we protect all that while all this fundamental change is happening?

  8. Of course they do…The feeding frenzies must continue…But I will reiterate….I’ll give you nothing for a mans religion whose dog is not the very better for it…..Abe Lincoln or somebody said that….

    Ditto Blouise…

  9. ATHEISTS FILE SUIT TO BLOCK WTC MEMORIAL CROSS: (July 25th, 2011) – An atheist group is filing a complaint on Monday in an effort to block display of the “World Trade Center Cross” which is scheduled to be part of a memorial display commemorating the 9/11 attacks.
    ————————————
    Atheists could be more tolerant….

    Fundamental Christians could be more respectful….

    ‘According to producer Jeremy Thomas, the United States was one of the last countries to find a distributor due to the prominence of the Creation–evolution controversy. Thomas said: “It is unbelievable to us that this is still a really hot potato in America.’ (Wikipedia on Creation (2009 film))

    at the end of the day our Governing body is separate from Church doctrine…
    In the Constitution of the United States, the First Amendment reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….”, while Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    I believe that should be very very visible and brought to minds by being part of every politicians answer when asked about their own religeous preference.

  10. Currently, the most popular religion is Mithraism, although it uses an alias now that sounds similar:

    The Mithras worshippers compared the practice of their religion to their military service

    Guess who?

  11. I think most voters want a moral person in the White House. Religion is their marker and like most crude implements is better than nothing. The truth is that nothing assures the morality of the office holders and religion is probably one of the worst indicators. Be that as it may, it’s something.

    As for the electorate being the faithful, they may well be, but as for being religious that’s another matter. Church-going is diminishing and traditional religions are finding the young in their pews less and less. Voters then are voting with their feet and moving those feet right out the aisle.

    What voters want is not a particular denomination, but some measure of assurance that the man or woman they place in a position of high authority will have some sense of the Golden Rule. That’s not asking too much and their reliance on religion as an indicator of that sensitivity –while being sometimes misplaced– still rings true with many voters. It’s an educational thing. Tell them Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian and you will see shocked amazement. Tell the Jimmy Carter was the epitome of one and that look wil creep across their face again. Ask them who’d they vote for if both were eligible and willing today, and you’ll see shock give way to puzzlement.

  12. What voters want is not a particular denomination, but some measure of assurance that the man or woman they place in a position of high authority will have some sense of the Golden Rule.
    ——————————
    I agree

    the Seneca post also was profound…

  13. Mespo,
    I think you hit the nail on the head. The voters want to believe that the person in the White House can be trusted to not be oblivous to what life is like for real Americans and to deal with them honestly. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

  14. mespo,

    I agree with most of your comment–but I’d don’t think that religion is a marker that a person is moral.
    Haven’t we witnessed enough religious folks who hold/have held political office who have proved themselves to be immoral or amoral?

  15. We may be over thinking this. People want a leader who is “like them” most of them in this case self-identify as Christian, so they want a Christian leader.

  16. I agree with Gyges — which happens to be a defining characteristic of Authoritarian followers. These people don’t think. They fit the facts to their beliefs. There is no rhyme or reason. They compartmentalize. And most compartments are stuffed with American Myths — among them: America is a Christian Nation. And this is the most mythical time of the year — THANKSGIVING!!! For example —

    http://hnn.us/articles/406.html

    http://www.misconceptionjunction.com/index.php/2010/11/10-thanksgiving-myths-dispelled/

  17. Elaine,

    Or Catholics. However, I’d be willing to bet that most of those denominations identify as strongly as “Evangelical Free” or “Southern Baptist” as they do Christian. The church I went to as a kid did.

    Oro,

    Before you judge to harshly, you should consider that you’re doing the same thing they are. Judging a group who you think of as “other” as a whole rather considering that there’s just as much variety in comparably sized groups.

    In fact, you could say “They fit the facts to their beliefs. There is no rhyme or reason. They compartmentalize,” about just about everybody on some subject.

  18. Elaine M:

    I don’t either as I inartfully tried to express. I just think most of the religious try to live the ideal. That some don’t doesn’t bother me.

  19. Blouise 1, November 10, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Thus it has been since 1776 when we actually went to war to establish this nation.
    ============================
    The nation came into existence, was established, by the Declaration of Independence then the Constitution.

    We gave ourselves our freedom with our hearts, minds, and our unity, then our pen not our sword notified the world of what had already happened.

    The war was started some time after that by Britain, as a reaction to the creation of our nation, which had already taken place.

  20. I think if there was an atheist politician who laid out the truth and put herself on the line (as in facing down the less lethals our police state puts out) by blockading a foreclosure or demanding the arrest of war and financial criminals–well we’d see about how people might vote!

    I don’t think that has been true until just lately, but I think it’s true now.

  21. Something doesn’t smell right about the stat that 50% of self-identified Democrats would be uncomfortable with a Mormon in the White House, but only 36% of self-identified Republicans would. (As for self-identified Independents, there are plenty of them who vote straight-ticket for one party or the other, so it would be useful to break them out as such.)

    It’s hard to look at the 2008 presidential race and not see that the fact that McCain wasn’t a “true believer” was a serious problem for his campaign. That issue certainly explains the otherwise preposterous selection of then Governor Palin, particularly the apparent total lack of vetting in her selection. The McCain campaign knew that they had no chance of winning without the fervent support of Evangelical/Fundamentalist (mostly Protestant) Christians, so they panicked. Even the choice of Palin as running mate didn’t do enough to turn them out to volunteer and donate. After all, the man at the head of the ticket wasn’t “one of them.”

    Even if Romney said noting for the next year that wasn’t a carefully selected quotation from Pat Robertson, I doubt that he’ll get the kind of fervent turnout of Republican base that George W. Bush got – simply because, as a Mormon, he isn’t “a real Christian”.

    I’m not saying here that there aren’t plenty of Democrats who are biased against members of the LDS, I’m just skeptical that the “36%” number accurately represents the real-world feelings of the people who vote Republican.

  22. @tomdarch: I think the 36% number may be influenced by a fact on the ground: Mitt Romney.

    Mitt Romney looks likely to win the Republican nomination, and then Republicans would have to vote for him, and so they may be less inclined to say they are “uncomfortable” with their candidate when they are REALLY uncomfortable with any Democrat.

    On the other hand, Democrats have no Mormon candidate on the horizon, so they risk no cognitive dissonance by expressing discomfort, and in fact since the perception is that “Mormon’s are Republicans” (we have two Mormon Presidential hopefuls that are) Democrats might be more likely to express “discomfort.”

  23. Dredd,

    If I had wanted to note the Declaration then I would have. I was most specific in using the words going to war. That specificity is based on history and in this case the reference is tied to France, Spain and the Dutch Republic secretly providing supplies, ammunition and weapons to the revolutionaries starting early in 1776 and to the Model Treaty ( Plan of 1776) .

    Write your own post bubba … stop editing mine by telling me what I should have or shouldn’t have said when you obviously have missed the entire point and are not nearly as knowledgeable of the history upon which the post is based as you think … look beyond the widely know date of the Declaration to a more in depth knowledge of events.

    As for the Constitution … oh, never mind … dude, you’re a poser.

  24. Blouise 1, November 10, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Dredd,

    If I had wanted to note the Declaration then I would have. I was most specific in using the words going to war.
    ===================================
    That was what I was addressing, the propaganda that war is what produces freedom anywhere, anytime.

    It never has and it never will.

    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.” (James Madison, Father of the Constitution).

    All you need to know, then, is who is in the business of war?

    Once known, let’s not support the enemies of freedom, let’s reject them.

  25. There is a reason Americans want a president who will put them to work.

    “Work is the curse of the drinking class.” – Oscar Wilde

    “Stay thirsty my friends.” – Mr. Dos Equis

  26. Jo
    1, November 10, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I’m glad that homosexuals are becoming more socially acceptable. The closet is much roomier now.
    ======================================================

    my vote, best line

    it’s the christian dominionists that worry me. the world’s gonna end and we’re gonna help.

  27. Dredd,

    And yet that very same Madison who, due to poor health, would not actually fight in a single battle during the Revolutionary War, when President recommend enlarging the army, preparing the militia, finishing the military academy, stockpiling munitions, and expanding the navy while leaving his wife alone in the White House as the British approached to burn it during the War of 1812.

    Immediately after signing the treaty to end that war in 1815, Madison/Congress took us to war once again in the Second Barbary War.

    Your barking up the wrong tree with me. I’m not a pacifist and Madison is the last person I’d look to for advice on that subject.

  28. Hmmm…George Bush told us he was a Christian…he murdered a lot of people in his 8 year term.
    I think we need an atheist or agnostic for a change.

  29. Blouise 1, November 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Dredd,

    And yet that very same Madison who, due to poor health, would not actually fight in a single battle during the Revolutionary War, when President recommend enlarging the army, preparing the militia, finishing the military academy, stockpiling munitions, and expanding the navy while leaving his wife alone in the White House as the British approached to burn it during the War of 1812.

    Immediately after signing the treaty to end that war in 1815, Madison/Congress took us to war once again in the Second Barbary War.

    Your barking up the wrong tree with me. I’m not a pacifist and Madison is the last person I’d look to for advice on that subject.
    ==========================================
    I notice an ad hominem tone in your discourse.

    I don’t know why that is, so I will stick to the subject: what creates our American freedom?

    I had said that war did not create American freedom, nor will it ever create American freedom.

    Only “we the people” can do any creation of our own freedom, like we originally did, and only “we the people” can perpetuate our own freedom.

    To say that war creates the freedom of the American people is perverse.

    So I continue to presume you did not indicate that fallacy.

    James Madison wrote The Bill of Rights, was considered to be The Father of the American Constitution, was elected president, was appointed a cabinet member, and was elected as a congressman during his career.

    So, why you would not consult him as a founding father, in terms of whether or not war created our American freedom, is perplexing to me.

    Who would you consult, to be an expert in creating American freedom?

    You would not consider Gandhi the pacifist who did so without firing a shot?

    Who did it for the most populous democracy on the face of the Earth, India, when he inspired the Indian people to create their own Indian freedom?

  30. Dredd,

    what creates our American freedom? is your discussion … not mine

    I was addressing the original post Poll: Americans Want A Faithful President But The Right Faith which is an issue Americans have been dealing with since the war to establish the nation. (i.e. from the beginning)

    As to the ad hominem bit … you are correct … even more so now for I did not realize that you had changed the discussion topic and then taken my words as if they had been written in response to that topic so that a phrase meant to imply “from the beginning of our existence as a nation” became, through your interpretation, “war creates freedom”. Not only did you attempt to edit my words, you also, through that process, attempted to change their meaning to fit an argument of your own creation. You have misused me sir, badly. I won’t forget it.

  31. Pete, I absolutely agree about the christian dominionists. These are the very same people who hate Jews but want to do everything to help Israel..
    The reason they are so pro Israel is so as to speed up the “Second Coming”
    And if they were to get their way they would bar the Pearly Gates, a bible in one hand and a handgun in the other. No Jews, Mormons or members of that church on the corner that spends its monies on feeding the homeless rather than a beautiful stained glass window honoring Mr.and Mrs. Snootnose-Blythe-Smith III for their generous $$$$ contribution.

  32. gbk,

    May those who love us, love us.
    And those who don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts;
    And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
    May He turn their ankles,
    So we will know them by their limping!

    (clink)

  33. gbk 1, November 11, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Blouise,

    Dredd treats every JT post as an opportunity to link to his blog. He is indeed a poser.
    ======================
    That is what HTML was made for. Before that one had to post and entire page into another page.

    It is a way of sharing memes of those not in your immediate family without cluttering up the works, and giving the power to the clicker to decide.

    Tight gene pools make up tight bloggers. Broaden your genes like JT does by linking to other places in every post.

    Getting out more often is said to be a good thing.

    I have zero ads on my blogs and always will have zero ads. Lots of idea genes, no ads.

    BTW your caught the ad hominem bug that is being shared without going anywhere. Shake it, it is not a good gene for you.

  34. Dredd,

    “BTW your caught the ad hominem bug that is being shared without going anywhere. Shake it, it is not a good gene for you.”

    Not so Dredd, I just think you’re an opportunistic asshole. I get out quite a bit actually, which is how I recognize your methods for what they are: generating traffic to your site for your own reasons. Thanks for explaing to me why HTML was invented.

  35. Dredd:

    “The nation came into existence, was established, by the Declaration of Independence then the Constitution.”

    ********************

    I would say under most any accepted definitions, The Declaration of Independence was an “act of war.” Though written and adopted after the first shots were fired it would constitute a casus belli. While the “nation” came into being following the adoption of those founding documents, the notion of indivisible sovereignty of the colonies surely came about through force of arms.

    Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    ~The Declaration of Independence

  36. Oro,

    Wrong group.

    “It’s all about Authoritarians (read:amoral opportunists) and — more dangerously — their 9exploited?) followers. Their whole philosophy of life is to follow. Many follow “God.” The mere existence of an atheist is an existential threat to their philosophy.”

    I know devote Christians that don’t care if I’m an atheist that would still be uncomfortable electing a non-Christian.

    That book is explicitly about the Religious Right. The study found that “two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39%) or somewhat important (28%) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs,” and two thirds of voters are NOT the religious right. So it can’t ALL be about the religious right.

  37. Gyges —

    Authoritarians — being the amoral, self-serving opportunists that they are — come in all stripes, from the far-right to the far-left, as do their followers. And as bad as Authoritarian followers are, add fundamentalist religion to the mix, the combination is expotentially worse

    Check out Chapter 4 Authoritarian Followers and Religious Fundamentalism at the following —

    http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    The following is the summary of Chapter 4, found at pages 139-141:

    Summary: So What Does All This Amount To?

    This chapter has presented my main research findings on religious
    fundamentalists. The first thing I want to emphasize, in light of the rest of this book, is that they are highly likely to be authoritarian followers. They are highly submissive to established authority, aggressive in the name of that authority, and conventional to the point of insisting everyone should behave as their authorities decide. They are fearful and self-righteous and have a lot of hostility in them that they readily direct toward various out-groups. They are easily incited, easily led, rather un-inclined to think for themselves, largely impervious to facts and reason, and rely instead on social support to maintain their beliefs. They bring strong loyalty to their in-groups, have thick-walled, highly compartmentalized minds, use a lot of double standards in their judgments, are surprisingly unprincipled at times, and are often hypocrites.

    But they are also Teflon-coated when it comes to guilt. They are blind to
    themselves, ethnocentric and prejudiced, and as closed-minded as they are narrowminded. They can be woefully uninformed about things they oppose, but they prefer ignorance and want to make others become as ignorant as they. They are also surprisingly uninformed about the things they say they believe in, and deep, deep, deep down inside many of them have secret doubts about their core belief. But they are very happy, highly giving, and quite zealous. In fact, they are about the only zealous people around nowadays in North America, which explains a lot of their success in their endless (and necessary) pursuit of converts.

    I want to emphasize also that all of the above is based on studies in which, if the opposite were true instead, that would have been shown. This is not just “somebody’s opinion.” It’s what the fundamentalists themselves said and did. And it adds up to a truly depressing bottom line. Read the two paragraphs above again and consider how much of it would also apply to the people who filled the stadium at the Nuremberg Rallies. I know this comparison will strike some as outrageous, and I’m NOT saying religion turns people into Nazis. But does anybody believe the ardent Nazi followers in Germany, or Mussolini’s faithful in Italy, or Franco’s legions in Spain were a bunch of atheists? Being “religious” does not automatically build a firewall against accepting totalitarianism, and when fundamentalist religions teach authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, and conventionalism, they help create the problem. Can we not see how easily religious fundamentalists would lift a would-be dictator aloft as part of a “great movement,” and give it their all?

  38. Ditto re Rafflaw & Blousie.

    And I am doubly at fault for not paying homage — yesterday was my great privilege to assist a WWII veteran with a minor problem. I needed a copy of his discharge papers. It noted that he had been awarded seven bronze stars.

  39. Oro,

    “This chapter has presented my main research findings on religious
    fundamentalists.
    ” emphasis mine.

    I get it, you think that religious fundamentalists behave in X fashion. You have even provided evidence for that.

    What you haven’t provided evidence for is that 2/3rds of the American voting public can be described as religious fundamentalists. Unless you can provide some proof that they are, I’m going to keep believing that you unfairly defined a larger group of people (those who say that it is very important (39%) or somewhat important (28%) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs) as something they’re not (religious fundamentalists).

    I’m not arguing that your description of fundamentalist Christianity as a breeding ground for authoritarianism. In fact, I could probably do a better job than you are arguing that than you are. I’m arguing that you’re confusing a small subset of Christianity with the whole.

  40. Violence or the threat of it is the primary natural way to attain freedom once it is denied, because it is the primary natural way to deny freedom to others, and violent criminals can usually only be thwarted by violence in return.

    That is true whether we are talking about individuals or whole populations, and has been true for the 100,000 years we have been going to war and subjugating others, as subjects, slaves, indentured servants, second-class citizens or whatever. It is the threat of violence that prevents people from speaking freely or acting freely; heck even religions resort to the threat of violence to exact compliance: Hell is nothing but a supernatural torture chamber.

    It is possible that freedom can be attained by argument or appeals to sympathy or logic or morality, but arguing that freedom cannot be attained by the oppressed banding together and going to war against those denying them freedom is just patently ridiculous.

  41. To join the chorus, Happy Veterans Day and thank you all for your service.

    Just because many of us don’t appreciate the questionable motives and bad actions of those politicians who send you off does not mean we do not appreciate both your service and your sacrifices. In fact, it is that very appreciation that compels many of us to question the political actions and demand accountability. Duty and honor such as yours should not be ill-used by politicians for profit motives and personal agendas of the wealthy.

    Again, for those who have served, thank you.

    For those currently serving, thank you and may you return home safely.

  42. I echo the sentiment, Happy veterans day to all who answered the call: whether by choice or force you gave more than many of us, I think, can even imagine. For that, thanks you.

    To me the point of this poll is on point without realizing it – they did not even bother to ask how many would support someone who is Jewish?
    A jewish president? fuggedaboutit. not even worth the question.

  43. “What you haven’t provided evidence for is that 2/3rds of the American voting public can be described as religious fundamentalists.” — Granted.

    “I’m arguing that you’re confusing a small subset of Christianity with the whole.” Disagree, per Dr. Altemeyer’s Book. Exclude this segment from the sample, the opposition to atheists (the least trusted of all the groups), probably hovers around 50%

  44. “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.”
    ~Seneca”

    As usual Mespo comes up with a prescient quote to elegantly describe the heart of the problem. I would only add further that in the US and in many other places the open profession of people’s faith represents acts of hypocrisy by those who talk a good game. One of America’s most cherished mores is the public declamation of faith, even if one’s own practice is fraught with exceptions. We live in a country where the majority profess faith, but do little to live up to its strictures. This is evident more so in our leaders, who are mainly shameless hypocrites where religious belief is concerned.

    Polling itself on matters hotly disputed is usually quite suspect. The bias of the questions and the pollsters plays a big role in skewing results. Then to people taking these polls tend to give answers that really are less than heartfelt and more in line with what the pollee thinks is expected. Polls have stated that more than half of the people don’t believe in evolution and i don’t believe that is what they really think, but more like what they think they’re supposed to think.

  45. Mike, Quinnipiac called me a number of months ago about what first appeared to be local Pa. politics but then asking how i felt for instance about Santorum. I saw from the questions there was skewing so I did not answer truthfully. I am sure I am not the only one. You know the saying figures lie, liars figure.

  46. “Disagree, per Dr. Altemeyer’s Book. Exclude this segment from the sample, the opposition to atheists (the least trusted of all the groups), probably hovers around 50%”

    I’m confused now. Assuming your figures are right, that means that only a quarter of opposition to Atheists is from fundamentalist Christians. How on earth does that mean that this whole thing is the result of authoritarianism in fundamentalist Christians?

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