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Gallup Poll: 82% of Americans identify as "Christian"

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Fogbuster, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    I was shocked! With what some would have us believe about America, you'd have thought that today most Americans would identify with "no religion, agnostic, or atheistic", but that is not what Gallup discovered. And Gallup does not have a particularly "conservative" reputation; more to the "liberal" side, even. In the 1940s some 91% of Americans identified themselves as "Christian". So it would seem faith's demise has been vastly overstated, by some.


    PRINCETON, NJ -- This time of year provides an opportunity to answer frequently asked questions about exactly where America stands today in regard to religion, based on Gallup's extensive archives.

    Christmas is obviously a Christian holiday. But what percentage of Americans today identify with a Christian religion?

    About 82% of Americans in 2007 told Gallup interviewers that they identified with a Christian religion. That includes 51% who said they were Protestant, 5% who were "other Christian," 23% Roman Catholic, and 3% who named another Christian faith, including 2% Mormon.

    Because 11% said they had no religious identity at all, and another 2% didn't answer, these results suggest that well more than 9 out of 10 Americans who identify with a religion are Christian in one way or the other.

    Has this changed over time?

    Yes. The percentage of Americans who identify with a Christian religion is down some over the decades. This is not so much because Americans have shifted to other religions, but because a significantly higher percentage of Americans today say they don't have a religious identity. In the late 1940s, when Gallup began summarizing these data, a very small percentage explicitly told interviewers they did not identify with any religion. But of those who did have a religion, Gallup classified -- in 1948, for example -- 69% as Protestant and 22% as Roman Catholic, or about 91% Christian.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/103459/Questions-Answers-About-Americans-Religion.aspx



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  2. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's heartening that those individuals who identify themselves as Christian are so able to live and thrive in a nation with a secular public sphere!

    With luck, we'll keep it that way.

    PFnV
  3. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    It's such a blessing that people of all political, religious, and ideological stripes can live in America, a nation of so much Christian charity and tolerance.

    We are wise to give credit where credit is due.


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  4. PatsFanInVa

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    ... assuming, of course, that Jesus came from a "decent" background. I think it's generally assumed that he did, and it is generally assumed that whatever applied to 90% of Jewish men at the time applied to Jesus. It is the safest assumption. But then again, he was from "the sticks," we have no real evidence that he positively impressed a rabbinic authority ever, and he preached doctrines that were conspicuously heavy on radicalizing the heart of Judaism in preparation for the "end times."

    It could be argued that a mind mired in the status quo, that is, the priestly hierarchy and the "learned men" of rabbinic Judaism, would be less likely to move radically forward in his message, almost, in fact, arriving at reform Judaism some thousands of years early. I don't know if out-of-wedlock provenance made you "ineligible" for some roles in the Judaism of the day (such as being called to the Torah for a reading,) but if that were the case, it would also suggest a non-Hebrew-literate Jesus.

    Again, such a figure would be an unlikelihood, but your post got me to thinking. Most likely, he said many a hag hannukah in his time, although, as I've mentioned, he wouldn't know what to make of a "merry Christmas."

    PFnV
  5. Lifer

    Lifer Banned

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    really? all of them? Im sure every one of them would appreciate your brand of "tolerance" and absense of ignorant generalizing :rolleyes:
  6. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    What percent believes in Santa Claus?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2007
  7. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    I agree with the first part.

    What about the poll, though? There's more than a simplistic interpretation and it isn't all good news. "Identifying" with a religion does not mean that one is actually practicing that religion or even that they believe in that religion. Culturally, I would certainly identify myself as a member of the Irish-Catholic tradition. That means I am a guilt-ridden alcoholic (I can live with that) who knows the beatitudes, stations of the cross and the mass by heart. That alone does not make me a christian. My life is modeled after the Golden Rule, though, and that has not been bad, IMO. Being a christian is much different than "identifying" with Christianity are two very different things.
  8. PatsFanInVa

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    How is Christian charity different from any other variety of said abstraction?
  9. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    More from the survey:

    "Do you ask Americans about the influence of religion in society?
    Yes, since 1957 Gallup has periodically asked this question: "At the present time, do you think religion as a whole is increasing its influence on American life or losing its influence?"

    In December of this year, 32% said religion was increasing its influence, and 61% losing its influence, with the rest volunteering that it was staying the same or not giving an answer.

    How does that compare historically?
    There's been a lot of variance in these responses over the decades. Back in 1957 -- during the halcyon days of the Eisenhower administration -- 69% of Americans said religion was increasing its influence. And in December 2001 -- just months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States -- 71% said religion was increasing its influence in American life, which is the highest reading on that measure in Gallup Poll history. But by 2003, the percentage saying religion was increasing its influence had dropped back into the 30% range and though it has been as high as 50% since then, it is just 32% today.

    On the other hand, in a couple of polls conducted in 1969 and 1970, only 14% said religion was increasing its influence -- the lowest readings on record. That of course was during an era replete with hippies, protests, Woodstock, drug use, and other indications of a less than devout, religious population. Another time period with a low "increasing its influence" percentage was in the early 1990s."
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2007
  10. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    It's just better, alright?!
  11. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    It's called sarcasm..JEEZ!:rolleyes:
  12. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    NEMster, it wasn't "me" who said America was 82% Christian, it was the Gallup survey. The Gallup Poll has been around for some 70 years, is well-respected for its polling standards.

    As for America's "intolerance", sure, there is some intolerance; Americans aren't perfect, yet. But you need to go to some other countries if you really want to see intolerance. It's a world-wide phenomenon, and among the world, America still enjoys the highest immigration rate of anywhere on earth.

    50 Million illegals and another 150 legals can't all be wrong.


    ;)


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  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Once again do you have any stats to back this up, or is this what you think??

    Most estimates seem to indicate there are between 12-15 million:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8G6U2ko8&show_article=1

    Another article published by the Feds re; Effect:

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2007/back707.html

    BTW the population of the US is about 306 million:

    http://www.census.gov/population/www/popclockus.html

    Being in Europe for 10 years and using secondary sources of info, may skew your view... there are usually facts that can help in an argument.. you indicated there are 1 in 4 illegals, but even if there are 20 million illegals it would be 1 in 15. Don't let facts confuse your arguments, it may lead to the truth.
  14. Fogbuster

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    Try to focus on the main point: the U.S. is made up of immigrants, LOTS of immigrants, and thus must be a pretty tolerant place. If it weren't, people wouldn't bother to go to America. But since people are literally pouring in by the millions, it is proof of a very tolerant nation.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

    :singing:



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  15. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah but between characterizing the abstraction charity as "Christian," and misrepresenting immigration by orders of magnitude, you manage to undercut the "main point" by "busting the fog" caused by accurate renderings of reality.

    Now if you mean that most Americans are immigrants in a hereditary sense, I heartily agree. But still the random numbers you sort of just blurted out make no sense there either.

    That kind of stuff undercuts your frequent insistence that you have come to remove the fog from all our senses yadda yadda yadda. It's like, hey, when you stop driving your own ship onto the rocks, maybe I'll believe you about your chart. Right now the fog doesn't look real dense over here.

    PFnV
  16. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    Well, this *is* what I was saying, and actually, when we get down to it, 50 million illegals and 150 legals is probably too conservative, when we go down the generations until today, with a total of 300 million-plus. Point is: we are ALL immigrants, one way or another. And, yes, America enjoys such popularity *because* she was founded as a "Christian nation", as even today's Gallup Poll suggests.

    Case closed. Fog busted, yet again!!

    NEXT!!!


    :D


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    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  17. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    I know that there's lots of Christians, but what denominations don't heavily promote attendance at church on Christmas? I expect not many. The denomination I grew up in, Roman Catholicism sure as heck did. Its not called ChristMAS for nothing:D Yet even with all that promoting, I'd be willing to bet that it would be weeks before America's churches recovered from the flood of church-goers if all 82% percent showed up this past Tuesday. For those that have never attended, a Roman Catholic ceremony usually runs about 35 minutes, some shorter, a few much longer; but 35 minutes is a good general expectation for how much time you have to devote. I expect the majority of denominations are about the same. Who didn't spend 5 times that much shopping yet couldn't find the time to attend?

    Sure Christiandom has great appeal in the USA when it comes to passively and let's face it, lazily answering polling questions; but who really does what it takes to stay in good with their local church? I'd say its maybe a 1/4 of the 82% figure. Christianity's support in the US may be broad; but it sure ain't deep.
  18. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Rookie

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    Well, that's just it: one does not *have* to "go to church" to be a believer. The fact is that the poll was asking people to give their "identity" regarding faith. That is a purely voluntary choice revealing one's personal confession. The poll did not ask if one was a "good Christian" or not, just what faith they identified with, and 82% said, "Christian". It is what it is.


    :D

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  19. mikey

    mikey Rookie

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    Is it ironic that 82% of people living in the richest and most powerful nation on earth "identity" themselves as "Christian"?

    If anything, this is a country that lives opposite to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    This is a country that has no problem lying and distorting the truth in order to invade another country and slaughtering thousands of innocent women and children.

    This is a country that uses the name of "God" in vain and for political purposes.

    The reality is that this is a country of hyporcrites who are deluded about their own personal salvation.

    .
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007
  20. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    and 99% of murderers sitting in jail say they didn't do it. That doesn't make it true. Seems to me that if you can't find a measly 30 minutes to go to church while you have no problem finding 5X as much time to go shopping to celebrate the exact same event, you worship some sort of consumer god. Its good to see paganism making a comeback, in deed if not word. Its always struck me as the most honest religion.

    Baby Jesus will again cry this August when the world ignores his actual birth date for the 2008th consecutive time.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2007

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