We have seen the absurd lengths to which the Religious Right and the Republican Party are willing to go, to be offended. From a War on Christmas to a War on Christians and Christianity, they act as if the existence of even a single non-believer makes them the victims, never mind that the country is still 70 percent Christian.
They tell us that elected officials must be Christians, even though the United States Constitution, which is the law of the land, says it doesn’t matter. They tell us our president can’t be Muslim, even though the Constitution makes no such stipulation, with Article 6 telling us there can be “no religious test.” The First Amendment guarantees religious freedom for all. Legally, their every claim is a non-starter.
And it turns out they’re pretty much alone in this. A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that while “most Americans see the Bible as either the literal or the inspired word of God…they’re less likely to insist that a presidential nominee hold the same views.”
According to Huffington Post,
The poll finds that a quarter of Americans think the Bible is the “actual word of God” and should be taken literally and word-for-word, while another 39 percent say the Bible is the “inspired word of God,” even if it isn’t meant to be taken literally. Another 26 percent say it’s an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts authored by men.
Here is the breakdown:
Would you prefer to vote for a presidential candidate who:
Believes that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word . . . 19%
Believes that the Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally, word for word . . . 29%
Believes that the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by men . . . 13%
It doesn’t matter to me what a candidate believes about the Bible . . . 29%
Not sure . . . 11%
So most Americans might still believe in the Bible, but fewer of them care if their candidates do, with a whopping 53 percent either not caring or unsure. And that is, after all, what the Founding Fathers intended, as we can see from their writings.
It is often said that American voters are stupid and uninformed, but they’re apparently much better informed and far more intelligent than any Republican candidate or Religious Right leader you care to mention.
It’s not all good news of course:
Much of the public does share Carson’s faith in some mainstream Biblical precepts. Forty-two percent of those polled said they believe the world was created in six days, with 37 percent saying it was not and the rest unsure. A 52 percent majority believes the end of the world will happen as predicted in the Book of Revelation, with 13 percent saying that this will occur in their lifetime.
Against this are the 47 percent of people who say they either don’t think or aren’t sure the Book of Revelation has it right, which is disappointing for the rest of us but still not bad when you consider the country is still 70 percent Christian. That means there are an awful lot of Christians who haven’t fallen for the Religious Right heresy.
And even better, HuffPo tells us, “that doesn’t mean people are equally on board with the pyramid theory: Just 4 percent of respondents said they think the pyramids were grain silos, while 72 percent believe they were used as tombs.”
Ouch, Ben. That had to hurt. Did it hurt?
However frustrated we opponents of the Religious Right may be at times, there is hope. America is becoming left-leaning, more secular, and less in thrall to the crazy, hate-filled rhetoric of the GOP and the Religious Right.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.