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Half of Americans still say the Bible should influence our laws: poll


More than a quarter favor it over the will of the people

Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call

The Word of God has long played a role in the United States. It is part of our founding and has influenced much of our laws.

A poll from the Pew Research Center shows that half of Americans still want the Bible to have at least some influence on laws of the U.S. And when the will of the people comes in conflict with the Bible, more than a quarter side with having the Bible hold influence.

What did the poll say?

The survey details posted Monday showed that 49% of all U.S. adults say the Bible should have "a great deal" (23%) or "some" (26%) influence on laws of the use. The poll also said that 50% of Americans say the Bible should have "not much" influence (19%) or "none at all" (31%).

Broken down by faith, 68% of Christians, 31% of Jews, and 21% of "unaffiliated" — including 4% of atheists — said the Bible should have influence on our laws. Among Christians, 76% of Protestants and 51% of Catholics held this views.

Not surprisingly, when broken down further, white Evangelicals were the most likely group to support Biblical influence on U.S. laws at 89%.

Black Protestants came in second at 76%.

Of course, there was a major discrepancy between the two major political parties. Republicans were twice as likely to say the Bible should have influence on U.S. laws. Two-thirds of Republicans (67%) agreed with that stance, compared to 33% of Democrats (the party that famously "booed God" when debating the party platform in 2012).

Age also a played a factor: The older the respondent, the more likely he was so side with keeping the Bible as an influence. Sixty-four percent of adults 65+ held that view, while 30% of adults ages 18-29 said the same.

And when the Bible and the will of the people conflict, what then? Which should have more influence?

More than a quarter of Americans (28%) say the Bible should have more influence, 19% said will of the people.

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