At a time when the public display and discourse about matters of faith have been under attack, a new poll indicates most Americans – 63 percent – believe the Bible is literally true and the Word of God.
The survey taken Thursday and Friday by Rasmussen Reports found just 24 percent thinking otherwise.
When broken down into different demographics, the poll showed 77 percent of Republicans believe in the literal truth of the Bible as do 59 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of those not affiliated with either major party.
Among Evangelical Christians, 89 percent believe the Bible is literally true and just 4 percent say it is not. Among other Protestants, 70 percent believe the Bible is literally true. That view is shared by 58 percent of Catholics.
Eighty-two percent of black Americans believe the Bible is literally true and the Word of God. Fifty-nine percent of white Americans share that view along with 71 percent of other, primarily Hispanic, Americans.
While older Americans are slightly more likely to believe in the literal truth of the Bible, 58 percent of adults under 30 hold that view.
Pope Benedict XVI
By a 4-to-1 margin, those who believe the Bible is literally true have a favorable opinion of Benedict XVI, the new pope.
The poll also shows 50 percent of American Catholics have a favorable opinion of the pope, with just 15 percent holding an unfavorable opinion.
Half of Catholics in America also believe it’s more important for the Church to “stick to the views that have guided it for centuries” rather than “change to accommodate modern lifestyles,” while 38 percent have the opposing view.
Evangelical Christians also have a positive opinion of the new pope – 39 percent favorable and 13 percent unfavorable. Among other Protestants, the numbers are 30 percent favorable and 14 percent unfavorable.
Those outside the Christian faith have a less favorable view – 23 percent favorable and 21 percent unfavorable.
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