Tuesday, August 29, 2006

75% in Arkansas Believe Bible Is Literally True

A recent Rasmussen poll shows the Bible Belt living up to its name.

According to an Aug. 26th survey, 75% of those surveyed in Arkansas believe the Bible is literally true. That ties for tops in the nation with Alabama.

"In Arkansas, the question proves to be one of the rare ones that doesn’t cause divisions along party lines; 83% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats say the believe in the Bible’s literal truth. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of women and 69% of men identify themselves as true believers," according to the Rasmussen report.

In Vermont and Massachusetts, only 22% of those respondents believe the Bible is literally true—the lowest percentages in all states surveyed.

Tried to dig up the Show-Me-State's number . . . but don't have that pricey premium membership.

22 comments:

RepublicFamily said...

And what is the message being sent here? Is it that the bare-footed uneducated people of Arkansas are so dumb they believe in the Bible while the really smart and Harvard educated folks in the northeast are much too smart to believe in the fictional Bible? Yikes, I can't even believe this would be a news story ... or that you have posted it here except for the fact that it fits the media's template of what they want to communicate about the political environment.

Perhaps this demonstrates exactly what the Bible says about needing a child-like faith to believe. In God's eyes, that is a positive not a negative. The "educated" folks who are just too "smart" to believe in the Bible will change their mind when they die. It is just too late then.

As for literal truth, the Bible is either true or it is not. No "literal" required. You can't go through God's word and pick and choose the parts you want to agree with. Oh wait, some "cultural Christians" do but that is clearly not God's intent. the creator of man clearly understands our DNA and his insights and rules written 2,000 years ago still clearly apply.

I say good for Arkansas ... and it would be better for the entire U.S. if a revival broke out and those who choose to lean on their own understanding and reject the Bible had their eyes open to the truth and Satan's lies of unbelief.

Matt Norris said...

Why is this even worthy of reporting?

busplunge said...

for more on this and other similar matters:

http://www.landoverbaptist.org

Show Me Girl said...

Maybe its worthy of reporting because it isn't a 100% figure. Not every one reads the bible. And others do not take it literally, but rather see it as a series of parables.

republicfamily, "As for literal truth, the Bible is either true or it is not." Is this along the same lines of the you’re with us or your with the terrorists mentality?

I think its very interesting to see the correlation between fundamentalists beliefs, and the political geography.

heresaquarter said...

yeah right, what ever show me girl. I dont see any mormons, amish or baptist out there shouting praise god while slamming jumbo jets into towers or cutting off peoples heads.

whats sad is that there are many within your party that believe what you just espoused.

that is pretty amazing when you live with a city that houses the assymblies of god and baptist bible college international headquarters.

then again, maybe it isnt.

tolerances goes both ways and its obvious you aint.

PbBut said...

What I find interesting is the characterization that "republicfamily" makes of citizens of Arkansas..."Is it that the bare-footed uneducated people of Arkansas are so dumb ..." I read this piece through twice and found none of those references there.
Are there any conclusions that can be drawn from a state where 75% of the citizens believe in the literal Bible and a majority of those same citizens voted for Bill Clinton at every opportunity except once?

Show Me Girl said...

Hmmmm….. I am unsure what point you are trying to make when you say “I dont see any mormons, amish or baptist out there shouting praise god while slamming jumbo jets into towers or cutting off peoples heads.” That really has nothing to do with political regions or a literal interpretation of the bible. But if making that statement makes you feel better…… Good for you.

The more puzzling thing about what you said, although it is not surprising at all, is that you automatically concluded I am a) A Democrat (and may even imply that that precludes me from being a Christian) and b) intolerant. I think this kind of rush to judgment correlates to the study Dave referred to.

Just and FYI, although it’s none of your business, I am a Christian, but not a Fundamentalist. I resent the attitude of this area that in order to be one you must be the other. However, that mentality is exactly what makes this study interesting to me. And I am increasingly put off by both parties and hope to see a very strong, viable third party candidate in ’08.

Lastly, stating an opinion that is not the same as yours is not intolerant. I did not, in any way, suggest those who interpret the bible literally should be exiled or punished in any way. As a life long resident, some of those I love the most truly believe the bible is a literal statement of fact. Yet I continue to love and respect them, I just don’t share their beliefs.

Peace.

RepublicFamily said...

Good grief ... seems to be lots of misunderstandings when words are just typed out.

For clarification "PbBut," I was not saying that I think people in Arkansas who believe the Bible is literally true are "bare-footed uneducated people of Arkansas are so dumb ..." I was suggesting, and I do believe, that IS the media template for this type of story.

That is the impression that "morally superior" liberals want to make. It is not said ... it is implied.

Conversely, the notion that those in the New England states are ... "really smart and Harvard educated folk" is implied because they don't believe the Bible is literally true. Don't be fooled, the media and cultural message here is that those who believe the Bible are simple minded. I happen to not agree with that, and can demonstrate it is not true, I'm just saying that is the cultural and media template and the entire reason this was a news story at all.

Retiredreporter said...

The real underlying question to this entire issue is, "what are you going to do with Jesus?"

Is Jesus just a good teacher, was he just a prophet, was he simply a religious leader like Budda and the others, or is he the son of God and the messiah? This has been the pivotal question for 2,000 years that has divided nations and people.

How you answer that question defines how you respond to other issues and how you respond to surveys like this one. For those who understand that Jesus is the son of God and the mesiah, the question of whether or not the Bible is literally true is already answered for them.

Those who think the Bible is not literally true most likely fall somewhere else with regard to the question.

So yes, there is a great division in this country. See www.barna.org for more and similar studies. But the pivotal question continues to be, what are you going to do with Jesus?

AshGrovePirateGuy said...

As Christians we are often offended by the immorality portrayed on television, in films, and in tabloids. And rightly so. But I suggest that we should also be disturbed by something much deeper: that our culture has stopped asking the big questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

Remember the bumper sticker a few years ago that said, "Jesus Is the Answer"? Well some wise guy shot back, "What's the Question?" That was intended as a put down, of course. But it is precisely the point today. People no longer know what the great questions of life are. In turn, they are confused about whether or not the Bible IS truth ... not simply that it is true.

PbBut said...

"republicfamily", Sorry, I just don't see it. Asking the question of people if they believe in the literal Bible does not require an interpretation of their background, it only requires a "yes" or a "no". And I see no implication in the article as it's written.
I think you're finding what you expect to find; a slanted, liberal, prejudiced press.
It's just an article, a statement of results. The implications are yours, not the writers.

marcus alrealius alrightus said...

Let's just hope that these good people in Arkansas have been warned of the dangers of eating shrimp.

Leviticus 11:9-12

9 - These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.

10 - And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:

11 - They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.

12 - Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

RepublicFamily said...

Good grief, the book of Leviticus is old-testment Jewish law meant to keep the Hebrew people in a right relationship with God. Jesus came, not to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. And by fulfillng the law, Jesus becomes the way to a right relationship with God.

That has nothing to do with the literal truth of the Bible.

As I mentioned before, persons with an authentic relationship with Jesus do not have a problem with the literal belief of the Bible.

Nice smoke screen there ... but one of the other bloggers is correct. The question is not what Leviticus says, the question is what are you going to do with Jesus?

And by the way,"PbBut" I'm not reading the message in. I'm saying that is the media template and WHY this study was made to appear as a news story.

The Barna Group does national studies like this all of the time and they never make the news outside the Christian media because they don't fit the cultural and political template of the media.

We've seen and heard that with the last two presidential elections. You know the underlying message on those ... "educated" folks on the coasts voted for Gore and Kerry ... it was those "right-wingers" in the "flyover states" of the Midwest that messed things up -- at least that is the message from much of the main stream media.

PbBut said...

republicfamily, The template is yours, it doesn't belong to the media. You keep looking for monsters under the bed and then you get to act shocked when you find them.
It's like going to the grocery store and finding a loaf of bread. That's what you expect to find.

RepublicFamily said...

So pbbut, which media outlet or organization do you work for? It has been my experience that the persons who deny this occurs generally have a vested interest ... meaning they work in or with the news media.

The full study and survey, by the way, is online at http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/August%202006/bibleLiterallyTrue.htm.

Chris Fluharty said...

Old Testament should be carefully followed. These dietary laws were made to keep peole from getting ill and dying. Shrimp are bottome feeders and tend to have things in them not good for our bodies. If we all followed these laws to the tee there would be no cancer from food. We'd still get it frrom this toxic air we breathe, but thats another story. The laws have a purpose. So, there is a huge difference between a literal belief and one that most Christians take.

PbBut said...

republicfamily, I'll just say that I am an Industrial Engineer, not for a government entity, not for a media outlet, but for a privately owned consulting and engineering company here in Springfield.
That being said, I'd like to thank you for affirming my observation. By your own words: "It has been my experience ..." Let me ask again, who has the template? Again you've found what you expect to find.

marcus alrealius alrightus said...

Well, the title of the article is "75% in Arkansas, Alabama Believe Bible Literally True", and I didn't see anything in the article stating anything different.

So, now you're sayin' it's all parts of the Bible are true except for the part that I mentioned?

For my part, people can interpret the Bible however they see fit. It's only when those interpretations become too narrow that I see a problem.

journeyer417 said...

I guarantee you that 75% if the population of Arkansas has not read the Bible in it's entirety.

RepublicFamily said...

For information about the existence of media templates ... a story line that is followed ... you can check www.mediabusters.org, the media research center or any of Bernard Goldberg's stories for starters. This very topic is discussed there. No, the template is not mine.

The other question posed ealier still lingers out there ... how do you feel about Jesus?

I'm opposite of the mainstream media in that i think 75% of people in Arkansas believing the Bible is great ... it is a strength. The Leviticus example does not disprove the Bible or demonstrate that it is not true.

The other main question is if we believe the Bible do we use it as our foundation. In order words, do we have a Biblical worldview? The Barna Group did research on this and found that only about 4% of Americans do. An article about the study, and the 8 questions that were asked, can be found at http://www.family.org/fofmag/cl/a0033123.cfm.

Show Me Girl said...

Yes, by all means, check out newsbusters.org, but also have a look see at mediamatters.org because both sides can find a way to play the blame game when it comes to media bias.

Fingerpointing is much more divisive and distrsacting than holding the media accountable for reporting real news at more than a 6th grade level. And the 24 hour news stations have become so addicted to the constant saturation of slanted, planted, or promotional BS that they seem completely incapable of real, objective reporting. Watch Anne Curry’s judgmental body language, or the facial expressions of almost any talking head, and you will see they don’t even pretend to be objective any more. But it isn’t solely “liberal” in fact, if you pay close attention, it would seem the right has done such a good job of shouting” LIBERAL MEDIA” and “LIBERAL BIAS” that most media has been forced hard to the right and any movement to the middle meets with righteous condemnation.

RepublicFamily said...

Now we have come full circle on this, thanks to Rosie O'Donnells comments on TV about radical Christians.

****
The day before O'Donnell's criticism of "radical" Christians, the Baylor University Sociology Department and the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion released the first part of their survey on religious life in America entitled "American Piety in the 21st Century."

Researchers found that one-third of Americans are evangelical Protestant and five percent are evangelical black Protestant.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute, in a new release commenting on the survey, said that "Today's pseudo-sophisticates view Biblical orthodoxy with disdain and/or hostility."

"The Washington Post, reporting on the Baylor survey, noted that those who view God as 'engaged and punishing' are more likely to 'have lower incomes and less education, to come from the South and to be white evangelicals or black Protestants,'" Crouse noted.

"Such statements, implying that Southerners, white evangelicals and black Protestants are poor and uneducated, reinforce old prejudices and continue the negative stereotypes about true believers," she said.
*****

That takes me back to the first post I made on this subject, and I quote: "And what is the message being sent here? Is it that the bare-footed uneducated people of Arkansas are so dumb they believe in the Bible while the really smart and Harvard educated folks in the northeast are much too smart to believe in the fictional Bible? Yikes."