God better watch out, the devil may be gaining on Him.
According to a Fox News poll, ninety-two percent of the U.S. population believes in God. This provides an interesting comparison because the PEW Research Institute has statistics that show that roughly forty-nine percent of the population attends houses of worship on a regular basis and forty-nine percent attend rarely if at all. Evidently the concept of God is more popular than organized religion or going to Church. The Gallop Poll and the Harris Poll and an ABC News poll also confirm this, but God’s popularity percentage verses the popularity of going to church varies with each poll. Sometimes I suppose it depends on how the spirit moves you, or what and who you think that God is that determines where, why and how you search for God. Unfortunately according to this poll seventy-one percent of the population also believes that the devil exists, but this doesn’t mean he is popular or that anyone is searching for him – thank God.
Of course you can skew the poll results in many different ways depending on how you ask a question and interpret the results. Perhaps this is why the same Fox News poll shows that eighty-five percent of the population believes in Heaven. It is hard to determine if this means that seven percent of those that believe in God don’t think they stand a chance in hell of getting into Heaven (92%-85%=7%) or if they just don’t buy into the whole concept of there being a Heaven, but do believe in God just in case. This same poll shows that eighty-two percent of people believe in miracles. Does this mean that they are part of the vast majority of people who believe it will take a miracle for them to get into Heaven? To make matters worse, while the percentage of people believing in God has stayed relatively constant over the last few years or in some polls decreased, the percentage believing in the existence of the devil has increased from sixty-three percent to seventy-one percent over roughly the same period of time. I can’t figure out what the hell this part of the poll means. I suppose it is open to interpretation.
I don’t think it is necessary in discussing polls about the popularity of God to mention that these polls are probably correct plus or minus 3% because I doubt that God is running against anybody. Which makes me stop and wonder why if there is no chance of anyone else but God winning, why would anyone take a poll to begin with? Do you think that the devil has anything to do with this insane desire on the part of certain news organizations to take polls about who does and doesn’t believe in God? Why can’t we leave the poll taking to the atheists? They know who they are, and since they represent such a small and unconvinced percentage (8%) of the population, they should be responsible for paying for these polls in my opinion, or do they have the privilege of invoking minority rights. And whom would they invoke them to anyway? They certainly can’t turn to God, can they?
There is an obvious Gender Gap in relationship to these God like polls with women more likely than men to believe in most categories including Miracles by twelve percent and Heaven by eight percent. The one notable exception is that thirty-nine percent of men believe in UFOs verses thirty percent of women. I don’t know what UFOs have to do with God, but my wife tells me that if I don’t get off the subject she is going to send me into outer space. I wonder if she is mad or just wants to give me an opportunity to meet my maker? Please don’t rush me honey, I think I am on a fast track as it is.
Of perhaps more value to this discussion on polls about God is the fact that Fox News says republicans are more likely by eight percent to ‘say’ they believe in God and by fifteen percent in Heaven and by seventeen percent in the devil, while democrats believe in reincarnation by fourteen percent more than republicans. What do they mean when they use the term “say”? Does that mean the republicans don’t really mean it? Why the disparity when if comes to believing in the devil? Are the republicans out to get his vote too? How should we interpret the figures on reincarnation? Does this mean the democrats are hoping they can come back as republicans or just hoping for a comeback? This is all too confusing.
Before we leave the subject of polls about God to their eternal resting place, I think it worth noting that this same poll indicates that young people are much more likely to believe in hell by a ratio of eighty-six percent to sixty-eight percent for those over seventy years old. The same applies to the devil by a ratio of seventy-nine percent to sixty-nine percent. Does this mean that for older Americans their hell raising days are over, or does it mean that the younger generations are hell bent on raising the devil with our established religious traditions? I don’t know. I don’t even know if the younger or older Americans understand their respective positions on hell and the devil any better than those of us caught in the hellish position of being middle aged, which by the way the poll doesn’t cover as an individual age group at all. I leave these weighty interpretations in God’s hands, who, without the benefit of polling statistics, I am sure, will find the grace to interpolate and understand.
The one part of the poll I am really happy about I saved for last. This one makes the whole polling thing worthwhile for me. It shows that fully sixty-nine percent of the population believes that religion plays too small a part in our lives. That’s what I’ve been saying all along.
Before I leave this exercise in my God given right to have opinions on polls about God, I should also make note of the fact that Fox News says that their poll was conducted over two days by telephone to over 900 people. What about the rest of the almost three hundred million people in the United States? Don’t we get a say? Has anyone tried polling God for his input lately? I wonder what He would have to say about His poll numbers? I bet He will have the final say.