Better Off Than Our Parents

While the economy has struggled the last few years, most Americans feel that financially things now are better than they were in our country a generation ago.  More specifically, according to Gallup's latest research 69% of Americans believe they "are better off financially than their parents were when they were the same age." So What? While the majority of those polled in all age groups and at all income levels believed they are better off than their parents, the percentage holding the Read More …

Bible-believing Means . . .

Casey and Bob Baggott, executive minister and senior minister of the Community Church of Vero Beach, recently wrote an article for TCPalm about just what it means to call one's self "Bible-believing."  In contrast to those who are Biblical literalists, the Baggotts propose: . . . none of us is capable, nor do we choose, to live out every literal dictate of the Bible. Instead, all faithful people must apply some principle by which we are capable of discerning the underlying messages which found Read More …

How Americans Interpret the Bible

According to the latest research by Gallup, within "most major U.S. subgroups, a plurality or majority holds the view that the Bible is the inspired word of God, rather than the actual word of God or a book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts."  The chart below illustrates how views of the Bible have changed over time. So What? Currently, 3 in 10 Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God.  Preference for the literal perspective is Read More …

Most Americans Now Favor Legal Gay Marriage

According to Gallup's latest Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 5-8,  a majority of Americans (53%) now support equal marriage rights for same sex couples as for opposite sex couples.  This graph below shows how opinions have changed over time, with the single greatest percentage gain in marriage equality coming over the last year (9%). So What? For the first time ever, according to Gallup's poll, the majority of Americans now support marriage equality.  When one considers how Read More …

Should our Government Engage in Wealth Redistribution?

"Democrats in America today are twice as likely as Americans in the Great Depression era to favor imposing heavy taxes on the rich as a means of redistributing wealth, according to data published today by the Gallup poll." These are the first words in Terence P. Jeffrey's article on cbsnews.com about a poll of 1,077 adults conducted April 7-11, 2011.  The wording of this question and the responses are shown in the image at right. So What? Most New Testament scholars agree that Jesus Read More …

Should Clergy Act More Like Nurses?

Gallup has conducted an Honesty and Ethics survey since 1976.  The survey has been conducted on an annual basis since 1991.  Nurses were added to the list of professions included in the survey in 1999 and  have been rated as the most honest and ethical every year since except 2001.  Shown below in the form of a bar graph are the results of the 2010 survey: So What? In 2010, clergy ranked 7th among the professions surveyed. Just over half (53%) of all respondents rated the honesty and Read More …

Poorer = More Religious?

Gallup recently published an article explaining the results of their 2009 survey on global religiosity, which consisted of telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults in each of 119 countries.  The data shows that "religion continues to play an important role in many people's lives worldwide."  Specifically: The global median proportion of adults who say religion is an important part of their daily lives is 84% Money matters: lower per-capita income is associated Read More …