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(RNS) The survey finds many Christians -- and unbelievers, too -- will exaggerate about attending worship in live phone interviews. However, when asked in an anonymous online questionnaire, people will answer more realistically.

39 Comments

  1. WHAT???
    Christians telling lies! But, but..How can they get away with that?
    Oh, right. They are Christians.

    At least the belief in God is dying off.

      • @HOLLY

        YES indeed!
        Vicarious redemption is the most immoral concept ever invented as is the gross, barbaric superstition that you can benefit personally from the torture and misery of another human being.

        Ask me to count the ways in which Christians are more immoral than Atheists and I’ll fill this page.

        • What a waste of time, Max and Larry. Boasting that you are more moral than Christians.

          Did it ever occur to you that even if you are 100 percent correct in all cases, you’ve just displayed Pharisee-level hubris instead of humility about it? Sheesh.

          Atheism = No Common Sense. Next religion please.

          • @Doc,

            What is ethical about arranging for a person to be tortured and killed for your personal benefit?

            Yes, I’ll go way out on a limb as to say I am morally superior to that.

          • Doc, I AM more moral than you. Most people actually are. You are not a nice or pleasant person under most conditions.
            -I don’t extol discrimination like you do.
            -I don’t claim people are heading towards eternal torment.
            -I don’t blame my views on literature from antiquity.
            -I don’t deny people who believe differently than I do are “not real” religions or sects.
            Most importantly
            -I don’t excuse my actions by outsourcing moral decisions to an arbitrary outside authority, as all Christians are expected to do.

            I thought I might be displaying some hubris, but then in perspective, not really. Certainly not compared to the self-important nonsense coming out of many people professing to be Christians, like yourself.

            They seem to act like they are the sole arbiters as to who has a real religious belief and who is a Christian. As if God granted them such authority on the spot. THAT is hubris.

          • @Doc Anthony

            Atheism is not a religion. Is humility believing your religion has all the answers to the universe while the rest of humanity waits to die and burn in a fiery pit of hell?

            I’m an atheist b/c I don’t have such answers. However, as an adult, my common sense prevents me from believing in imaginary friends (deities, demons, monster, ghosts or goblins).

    • The belief in God is dying off? Well Max, of course it–the ‘god’ of theism and atheism–is. And it is about time. In the 1930s, I also stopped believing in the fairies and the Santa Claus myth.

      G~Õ~D–that which Generates Organizes & Delivers all that is Good, Optimal & Delightful–however, is not to be confused with ‘God’, or ‘gods’. Unless, you believe it is okay to Generate, Organize & Deliver that which is Gruesome, Odious & Diabolic, :) . Do you? Sincerely, lindsayking.ca

      • God is just a vestigial limb from evolution.

        The desire to look upward toward a dominant father figure is part of the evolutionary process. All children are born looking for parents. They would not survive without it.

        Baby teeth, baby hair and other infant features are outgrown in a few years.
        But in many cultures the infantile search for the parent is kept alive through religion. Indeed it is forbidden to outgrow it in many countries.

        So, after being a Christian for 44 years I came to the realization that I had to pull out that last baby tooth.

        It wasn’t easy. There is no Hell, no punishment for abandoning God any more than there would be for throwing out a baby tooth.
        Life is so much better as a grown up.

  2. Cathy,
    Thank You for the story. It is fascinating.
    The obligation to be religious is so dominant that even ‘Nones’ feel obliged to say they go to church once in awhile.

    Such is the poison of religion; there are a long list of ‘shoulds’ and going to church is one of them.

  3. So, American Christians are claiming to be regular church-goers but aren’t going to church after all? Could they really be guilty of a kind of hypocrisy, which the founder of their own religion explicitly forbid them ever to engage in? Say it ain’t so!

  4. If it ain’t true, why, it should be, so they’ll say it anyway as if it were. Sometimes this is actually lauded in Christian circles; when I was a Christian, we called it claiming victory–to smile when we were distressed, or act very very positive of some Christian claim that we secretly doubted, or even to say we did something regularly like praying or fasting when we almost never did those things. This was walking in faith or speaking truth to power, and we were all sure our faith would be rewarded by what we claimed really happening. “Fake it till you make it” is the more vulgar modern saying, but I think most honest Christians and ex-Christians would recognize the mindset immediately. That outsiders consider it flat lying to say stuff that isn’t true made Christians I knew quite indignant. It wasn’t a lie, not really; it just wasn’t true yet. And even if that wasn’t the case, then anything was justified that got converts babbling the Sinner’s Prayer or Christians more certain of their faith; that’s why Christians tend to cling to urban legends and obviously false “miracle” claims, and tend to get angry not at the spreaders of these lies but at the people requesting proof of their happening or criticizing them in any way.

    Incidentally, there’s a whole name for this idea: lying for Jesus.

    I really wonder sometimes what would happen if Christians all over the world put their foot down and said no, they would not ever again say something untrue no matter how justified they think it might be.

    • Well I find it interesting that many Americans born into a church really have no idea of what Christianity is or God. Many told me it was just a habit. It isn’t a habit for me. I truly believe in God and Christianity or Jesus. I don’t care what others think about me. I have a relationship with Christ that has made a big difference in my life. I was born atheist. Christians who lie about believing in Jesus and who are there for what ever strange reason are the same as an Atheist their life doesn’t change and church is just a country club with no purpose for them.

  5. I’m not surprised how quickly people on this forum condemn Christians. You have put Christians on a higher moral scope. To be a Christian is not to say you are better than a non-Christian. The Bible says we all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God. Only through Christ are you saved. So going to church or not going doesn’t make you a better person. The church is for sinners. Yes there are vast amounts of hypocrites in the church. But I grant that without the laws gives down from Moses in the old testament there would be no morals at all. If no God why do we work, or not kill who we want? To believe that we evolved from a single cell organism is fantasy. Even in science it is proven that nothing can be created from chaos. To evolve is to become better adapted. Apes were more evolved physically to handle any environment. Man would have had to regressed. Doesn’t make since. Explain a platypus? Evolution can’t. I walked this earth for 40 years not believing in God until one day I walked into a church to see my son get baptized. I was made and angry at him for this. I sat on the front roll and turned and looked at all the crazy people. Then God went to work on me. I fought God for 4 weeks. The Holy Spirit showed me how wrong I was. Shame and guilt filled me. I truely thought I was having a break down. I finally talked to a preacher and he showed me how I can be saved. When I asked Christ into my heart I was and am a changed man. I felt the Spirit enter my body. I know there is a God. I don’t have to defend him. He doesn’t need me to. I’m just to give my testimony. I’m still a sinner and no better then you. But I strive to be a better husband, father and friend. One day when I pass, I know where my soul will be. I pray yours will be there as well.

    • Well Stated Brother Mike !
      I am sorry to have just now stumbled upon this Blog. I was researching how many American Christians do NOT attend Church. Every “Follower of Christ” can attest to your Testimony. I think that many who call themselves “Christians” have not felt this POWER of transformation. Many think that it is THEIR choice to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior…..but in reality, I think it is HE you choses you. It is a Honor and a Privilege to be a follower of Christ…..and it is indeed very comforting to have “imaginary Friends” :) There is an old saying….”There are no Atheist in a Fox Hole” …..so just be Glad that you have never found yourselves in one…..YET :)

      This is a very interesting Thread…..please get it going again. For me to hear from an Atheist and their viewpoints is like getting to see an White Elephant….very rare.

      JD

    • I disagree. A true Christian is better than one who has not received the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit works on a persons soul and they begin to change. One begins to see others as Christ saw people. And when a person begins to see others as Christ has they have a love and care for others. This to me is very important because then you act out of love of Christ and people like that help stop the hurtful things in society.

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