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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Americans Hold Strong Religious & Supernatural Beliefs: Jesus, UFOs, Witches, Astrology

Over 70% of Americans believe Jesus is the son of God and that he rose from the dead, according to Harris Poll results released last week.

Religious, metaphysical and supernatural beliefs still dominate the American psyche, while hard science is less believable. "Overall, more people believe in the devil, hell and angels than believe in Darwin´s theory of evolution," said a Harris Poll released late last week.

Eighty percent of the more than 2,000 respondents said they believe in God, and among those who attend church weekly, the number is 98 percent, according to a Washington Times report.
  • Over seventy percent believe in miracles, 73 percent believe in heaven, 71 percent say Jesus is the son of God and 71 percent believe in angels.
  • Seven out of 10 say Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that the Bible is, all or in part, the "Word of God."
  • More than two-thirds - 68 percent - believe in the "survival of the soul after death" and describe themselves as religious.
  • About 62 percent think that hell exists, 61 percent believe in the virgin birth and 59 percent say the devil exists.

Ghosts, UFOs, Witches Also Score High

In contrast, the Washington Times said fewer than half - 47 percent - believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. A third said they did not believe in it while 22 percent were not sure. A full 40 percent said they believe in creationism, though the question did not elaborate on exactly what that term meant.

Supernatural phenomena of other kinds attract Americans' attention.

Overall, 44 percent of the respondents said they believe in ghosts, 36 percent say UFOs are real while 31 percent believe in both witches and astrology. About a quarter believe in reincarnation, or "that you were once another person," the survey found.

"I think these numbers show that Americans are both devout and rebellious at the same time," said Steve Waldman, co-founder and editor in chief of Beliefnet, an online spiritual source that also polls the public. "Americans embrace key parts of tradition and faith, but they add other sorts of stuff, the supplementary beliefs that might not be on the approved list."

Click here for the Washington Times article.

2 comments:

Rossa said...

In the UK they passed a law this year saying that if you’re an astrologer, you have to put ‘For Entertainment Purposes Only’ on your promotional material.

You also have to put ‘not experimentally proven’. As one lawyer said: “You could argue that this is no different from promises given by the Church of Eternal Life, which people pay for, in the sense that they feel obliged to give to the collection, it’s no more proven.”

Can you imagine it...if they were to make it EU law, the board outside the Vatican,"Not experimentally Proven" !!

Gregory LeFever said...

That's quite insightful, Rossa. Thank you for the comment! I've covered many different topics on this blog and I find consistently that the astrological postings are among the biggest draw.

I found the Harris Poll results to be especially interesting because it casts a much different perspective on our friends and neighbors than mainstream media would have us believe.

Be sure to come back, Rossa!