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(RNS) There is a lopsided divide in America about what it means to be a religious person, with a majority believing that it's about acting morally but a strong minority equating it with faith.


  1. David Thompson

    “The bottom line is: Christianity is a religion. You can’t get away from it, If it walks like a duck, with doctrines, dogma, structures, everything a religion has, it’s a duck.”

    No sanitized euphemism is going to make the underlying dogma attractive. The most recent Pew study seems more credible than PRRI, so any numbers used will be a reflection of the most recent 2012 Pew study.

    The problem with the word ‘religion’ is caused by the evangelical/fundamentalist adherents to Christianity. Fundamentalist Islam is a problem too, but Islam is so small in the US that it’s not worth addressing. These evangelical/fundamentalist Christians are about 28% of the US population, but they are extremely vocal, whiny, and are trying to establish a theocracy.

    The term religion will never have a positive connotation, thanks to the evangelical/fundamentalist Christians. And oddly enough, they are the group that is trying to re-brand themselves as something other than religious.

    When you have 1 out of 3 people in the US believing the world is less than 10,000 years old and all life was created in its current form by god, in six days, because some minuscule arcane library of 66 books says so, we have a terrible disconnect from reality. And its worse when they are constantly trying to have this lunatic belief taught in school. We send our children to school to overcome ignorance, not to indoctrinate it.

    These people are well funded and very dangerous to the US way of life. They are not happy to just practice their religion. You have to believe and practice their religion too. That’s where you start to see theocracy creeping in.

    If you live in the bible belt and your not one of those zombies, you know this response is true. If you are not in the bible belt consider yourself fortunate.

    If you have recently read about North Carolina attempting to legislate a Christian state religion, then you can understand that the bible belt, plus many of the Red States would love to do the same. First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment be damned, regardless of how many times SCOTUS has told them to grow up and get a life.

    • Wow….where to begin? I find what you have to say about Christianity extremely offensive. Christians are whiny and trying to establish a theocracy? You’re kidding, right? We Christians certainly are not dangerous to the American way of life. I just can’t think of many good responses-I’m too shocked. Just so you know,however…I am a Christian with Lutheran leanings. I am well-educated and worked as an ICU RN for over 20 years. To me, the Bible is not some archaic, mimiature library of 66 books, but an amazing group of books written over hundreds of years by people inspired by God. I believe it is the Word of God. I don’t wish for a theocracy, but a country where we can live out our faith freely.

  2. Most hopeful information in the survey: What may bode even worse for religious conservatives is that they skew old. The survey shows that they are heavily represented among the oldest Americans (47 percent) but “make up a smaller proportion of each successive generation.”

    • Why is this “hopeful”? I’m 51, and most of my friends are around my age, but I know many young, conservative Christians. You’re happy that conservatives are dying out, but be very careful what you wish for….it may not be pretty without conservatives offering a different view of the world!

  3. The problem with the survey, that I see, is that it conflates religious conservatism/progressivism with political conservatism/progressivism, when the two don’t always coincide. The survey apparently asked people questions about both “God and the Bible” and the government’s role the economy and then labeled them conservative, moderate or progressive. But someone could have conservative views about God and the Bible while holding progressive political views or visa versa.

    This makes it hard to assess statements like “What may bode even worse for religious conservatives is that they skew old.” Are we talking about political conservatives who are religious or people who hold conservative religious views?

  4. Being judgemental, not being in spirit(i mean that if you depend on your flesh), depending on human created laws that they say that we christians should bear with, being a church goer on sunday only and the rest of other days being a brood of viper…..that is my opinion

  1. […] Report: Americans hold different views of what “religious” means (RNS) There is a lopsided divide in America about what it means to be a religious person, with a majority believing that it's about acting morally but a strong minority equating it with faith. Nearly six out of 10 Americans (59 percent) say that being … Read more on Religion News Service […]

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