Non-Christian Literalists?





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Published on Jul 15, 2014

Non-Christian Literalists

Hemant Mehta (http://www.friendlyatheist.com, http://www.patreon.com/Hemant)


Last month, a Gallup poll showed that 75% of Americans think the Bible is the word of God, literally or otherwise.

But when Gallup broke down their numbers, there was a surprising group of people on the list: Non-Christians who said that the Bible was the literal word of God. Nearly two dozen people they surveyed fell into that crowd. That means they believe in Genesis and Young Earth Creationism and Noah's Ark and Jesus coming back from the dead.

You might think two dozen is a small number... but the point is that number should be zero.

Even if you lowball it at about 2%, we're talking about nearly 7,000,000 Americans who aren't Christian but who believe the Bible is literally true. How does that happen? Who are these people?

The most likely explanation is that the question is just confusing.

Which of the following statements comes closest to describing your views about the Bible? The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally word for word.

I think there are people out there who think religion deserves to be respected, and that means saying it's really God's word. Maybe they would say the Koran is true as well.

It's also possible that the people in this group are Christians who just hate the word Christian. They're followers of Jesus, but they're not Christian, oh no.

The tough thing for pollsters to do is come up with easy-to-understand, short, to-the-point questions. But maybe they need to rephrase it to get a more accurate answer.

By the way, this is the same complaint you hear whenever Gallup releases polls about evolution versus Creationism. They ask whether people believe "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so:... and I just don't think most people can handle big numbers like that. 10,000 years seems like a long time so maybe people who don't care about the Bible at all would think "yeah, that makes sense."

So ignorance, at some level, is a big part of these professional surveys. It's disappointing, because it means we can't really get accurate answers, but it's something we need to keep in the back of our minds.

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