analyze the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion – American Piety in the 21st Century â€“ September 2006, I continue to find things that surprise me. For instance, the study finds that only 5.2% of Americans identify themselves as atheists compared to more traditional survey findings that put the figure in the 10-12% range. That is a very large statistical difference. As in about 15 million people difference.
The most fascinating section of the survey for me is the section titled Religious Belief (p.26), in which the authors attempt to classify peoples view of God, which then leads to even more interesting crosstabs on the results. I like the way that they came up with Figure 13, America’s Four Gods, using crosstabs on engagement and anger. Very, very interesting and, from personal observation, I think fairly close to accurate. I would like to see a similar crosstab using love instead of anger on the x-axis. As for where I would fall on the chart, I’m thinking somewhere in the upper left quadrant, fairly high and to the left.
What I find most interesting about this is in applying it to my current inner turmoil on abortion rights. Quite simply, I cannot understand how or why a person that professes to be Christian can, at the same time, be an advocate for the pro-abortion movement (I don’t think it has anything to do with choice, therefore my use of the term pro-abortion). By applying the typing system employed in Figure 13, it does shed light on this, for me. If someone’s faith puts them in the lower left quadrant, I can see how this person, who thinks that God is a distant, un-engaged, happy kinda guy, could allow herself to believe that it is okay to snuff life out on a whim. After all, the good grandpa in the sky isn’t around and even if he was, he’d just laugh, pat me on the head and be on his way.
Still, I don’t understand how anyone who reads their Bible could have this view. Oh, yeah, I forgot, less than half of all Christians read their Bibles weekly. Startlingly to me, 21.9% of Mainline Protestants never read their Bible. No wonder they have a view of God as a wacky, happy grandpa.