In December, the Blaze conducted a flash poll that provided some intriguing insights regarding the demographics and political views of our readers. Last week, we unveiled another set of questions in an effort to examine readers' views on the roles of faith and government in their lives.
Considering the religious freedom issues that continue to emerge across America -- and in nations around the globe -- understanding how the public sees both God and the government's appropriate role in religious processes is paramount. With secular attacks on faith continuing to ramp up and with the Obama administration's controversial stance on religious institutions and contraceptives, this examination is timely.
To provide a truly comprehensive recap, we've divided the results into two sections -- "religious beliefs and practices" and "the intersection of faith and government."
Religious Beliefs & Practices
Currently, the poll has brought in more than 833,800 responses to a multitude of faith-based questions (this number accounts for total answers given, not the number of individuals participating). Overall, the Blaze audience -- at least the portion that took part in the survey -- is overwhelmingly religious. An astounding 91 percent of readers self-identify as Christians (Catholic, evangelical and other), with 66 percent saying that they do daily or weekly Bible studies or religious readings on their own to help build upon their faith (2 percent reported being Jewish; 3 to 4 percent report being atheists in separate questions).
Additionally, 72 percent claim that they pray on a daily basis, with nearly seven in 10 reporting that they attend church, temple or a religious service at least monthly. In a separate question, this proportion is even larger, as 85 percent of respondents claim that they go to God regularly for guidance on any and all major decisions they are faced with.
On another note, 86 percent reported that God is the most important "person" or "element" in their lives, with only 14 percent of those answering that God does not fit this description. Nearly every individual (98 percent) answering the poll contends that genuine evil exists in the world.
Here are some additional results:
- 51 percent claim to have read the Bible in its entirety; 49 percent claim they have not (but 79 percent say they have read more than half of the holy book)
- The majority (93 percent) believe that the devil exists
- For one question, four percent of respondents claimed to be polytheistic (to embrace a belief in multiple gods)
- 93 percent believe God has performed miracles in their lives
- The vast majority (95 percent) report having shared their faith with someone else
- 26 percent say they have converted from one faith to another or from non-belief to religious adherence (74 percent have not experienced a conversion)
- Nearly eight in 10 (76 percent) believe the Bible is "completely true"
- 70 percent do not believe in evolution; 30 percent do
- Only 47 percent say they have sincerely investigated another religion
- 65 percent believe you must be "born again" to enter heaven
The Intersection of Faith & Government
When it comes to faith in society, the results were equally fascinating. An overwhelming majority (97 percent) of those who took part in the poll believe that the decline of faith in America will have serious moral and ethical consequences. Additionally, this same proportion contends that the nation was built upon Christian principles.
Considering the Obama administration's mandate that certain religious institutions violate their consciences by providing birth control and related services, eight in 10 Blaze readers oppose the measure, with only 20 percent claiming that they agree with Obama's stance.
As far as nativity scenes on local, state and federal property go, 97 percent oppose removing them, with only three percent claiming that they should be taken off of government lands. While five percent of those answering believe that the official National Day of Prayer is a violation of the separation of church and state, 95 percent reject this ideal.
On the education front, 84 percent of those participating said that they would vote in support of putting religious education back into our schools; 16 percent said they would not. While compelling, this is a relatively vague indicator (i.e. the question and answer don't address whether this educational amendment would be voluntary or mandatory for students), although it does seem to support the notion that the majority see the need for faith-based values in the public education system.
Here's more on the faith and government front:
- 88 percent contend that only Americans' faith in God will restore the nation
- The overwhelming majority (97 percent) believe Shariah law will impact America negatively (in a separate question, 63 percent say that Jews, Christians and Muslims can co-exist peacefully)
- 97 percent believe our laws should remain based on Judeo-Christian values
- Nearly all respondents (98 percent) believe a valedictorian should be able to share his or her faith during a graduation ceremony
- 97 percent believe that Jews and Christians should stand together to prevent the decline of faith in America
- Only two percent believe that "In God We Trust" should be removed from all government money and buildings; 98 percent disagree