Days after announcing that 42% of Americans are Creationists, Gallup has more data from its annual Values and Beliefs polls. And these results are no less depressing.
When it comes to the Bible, 28% of Americans say it’s the actual word of God and must be taken literally (the Ken Ham approach). Another 47% believe the Bible is inspired by God but open to interpretation. And a disappointingly low 21% correctly say it’s an “ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man”:
That 21% is a slight improvement from 2012 (but within the margin of error so nothing significant). It also matches the record high over the 40 years that Gallup has been asking the question, and it’s nearly double what it was a few decades ago.
But it’s still ridiculously low.
Meanwhile, the numbers for those who take the Bible literally have gone down since the 1980s, but it seems they’ve leveled off over the past decade. I suppose it’s worth pointing out that they can’t actually believe the Bible is literally true since it contradicts itself all over the place…
What’s the takeaway? Well, 75% of Americans think the Bible is the Word of God. That’s a hell of a lot of people who look to an ancient book full of bad ideas (and only a handful of good ones) to guide their lives and steer their values.
And remember: these people vote.
We are a laughingstock to other countries where they know better than to put much faith in a book that doesn’t deserve to be taken that seriously. Those of us who value reason and evidence have a lot of work left to do.