Davidson (11 July 2011)
"THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD"
The following Gallup Poll comes in the wake of Jim Bramlett's expose' of the so called president of the United States Of America
Only 3 in 10 Americans Say They Take the Bible Literally
Three in 10 Americans interpret the Bible literally, saying it is the actual word of God. That is similar to what Gallup has measured over the last two decades, but down from the 1970s and 1980s. A 49% plurality of Americans say the Bible is the inspired word of God but that it should not be taken literally, consistently the most common view in Gallup's nearly 40-year history of this question. Another 17% consider the Bible an ancient book of stories recorded by man.
These results are based on a May 5-8 Gallup poll. The high point in the percentage of Americans favouring a literal interpretation of the Bible was 40%, recorded in 1980 and 1984. The low point was 27% in 2001.
Among 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. Highly religious Americans and those who have less formal education are exceptions to this general pattern. A majority, 54%, of those who attend religious services on a weekly basis believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, more than twice the percentage of those who attend church less often.
Belief in a literal interpretation of a Bible declines as educational attainment increases. Forty-six percent of Americans with a high school education or less take the Bible literally, compared with no more than 22% of Americans with at least some college education. The majority of Americans with at least some college education believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God.
Gallup has consistently found strong differences in views of the Bible as the "actual word of God" by religiosity and education. The current poll also finds significant income differences, with 50% of lower-income respondents believing the Bible is the actual word of God, compared with 27% of middle-income and 15% of high-income respondents. These income differences are larger than what Gallup has measured in the past, with a higher percentage of low-income Americans believing the Bible is literally true.
Protestants Most Divided in Interpretation of Bible
Protestants (including those who identify themselves as "Christian" but not Catholic or Mormon) are the most likely religious group to believe the Bible is literally true. Forty-one percent of Protestants hold this view, while a slightly larger 46% take the Bible to be the inspired word of God.
Two-thirds of Catholics believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God, while 63% of those without a religious affiliation think the Bible is not the word of God at all. Other U.S. religious groups are too small in number to reliably estimate from a single poll.
Belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible is especially pronounced among churchgoing Protestants, as two-thirds of Protestants who attend church weekly hold this view.
Conservatives, Republicans More Likely to Take Bible Literally
Given the strong link between religion and politics in the U.S., it is not surprising that views of the Bible vary by party identification and ideology. The poll finds 42% of Republicans, compared with 23% of independents and 27% of Democrats, saying the Bible is literally true.
Conservatives are much more likely than moderates and liberals to believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. In fact, conservatives are as likely to believe the Bible is the actual word of God as to believe it is the inspired word of God.
The percentage of Americans taking a literal view of the Bible has declined over time, from an average of 38% from 1976-1984 to an average of 31% since. However, highly religious Americans -- particularly those of Protestant faiths -- still commonly believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.
In general, the dominant view of Americans is that the Bible is the word of God, be it inspired or actual, as opposed to a collection of stories recorded by man. That is consistent with the findings that the United States is a predominantly Christian nation and that Americans overwhelmingly believe in God.