There is more evidence to support the contention that closeted atheists might be America’s largest religious group. More Americans think the Bible is an “ancient book of fables” than believe it is the “actual word of God.”
One in four; around 26%, of U.S. adults characterized the Bible as “an ancient book of fables” in May 2017, Gallup’s Americans’ Views of the Bible poll discovered. Less than one in four; around 24%, American adults polled by Gallup described the Good Book as “the Actual Word of God.”
This is the lowest percentage of Americans that accepted the Bible as the literal word of God in 40 years of polling, a Gallup press release indicates. Back in 1976, 38% of U.S. adults said the Bible was the literal word of God.
Poll Indicates 26% of Americans might be Atheists
This poll seems to verify the claim that 26% of Americans are atheists. Gallup’s book of fables percentage (26%), matches the percentage of study participants identified as atheists in a recent research paper also (26%).
The paper’s authors inserted the phrase “I do not believe in God” into a list of statements, and found that more than one in four people answered yes. The researchers; University of Kentucky Psychologists Will M. Gervais and Maxine B. Najle, concluded that the percentage of atheists in the US population exceed 20% in How many atheists are there?
If the 26% estimate is correct that would make atheists the nation’s largest religious group. The 2015 Pew Religious Landscape Study identified “Evangelical Protestants;” who make up 25.4% of the population, as the nation’s largest religious group. The Gallup data indicates that persons who do not believe in the Bible now outnumber Evangelicals in America.
Americans are turning their Backs on the Bible
There are also some pretty deep differences over religious belief in America, Gallup’s findings indicated. Some highlights of Americans’ Views of the Bible for 2017 include:
- Men are less religious than women; 30% of men called the Bible a “book of fables,” only 24% of women agreed with that statement.
- Whites are less religious than people of color; 29% of nonwhites and 22% of whites viewed the Bible as the “literal word of God.” 28% of whites and 23% of nonwhites viewed the Bible as “fables.”
- Young people are less religious. Only 12% of those 18 to 29 viewed the Bible as the actual word of God. 30% of those in that age group viewed the scripture as a “book of fables.”
- Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1980) are the least religious Americans. Around 33% of people aged 30 to 49 agreed with the claim of the Bible as fables.
- Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1964) are the most religious Americans. Only 19% of persons aged 50 to 64 were willing to describe the Bible as “fables.”
- The Bible has a serious credibility problem among Christians. Only 30% of all Christians, 35% of Protestants and 21% of Catholics believed the scripture was the actual word of God. Around 14% of Christians, 12% of Protestants and 19% of Catholics called the Bible “fable.”
- Education seems to dampen religious belief. More than one third (36%) of college graduates agreed with “the book of fables” assessment of the Bible. Only around one in 10 college graduates (13%) said the scripture was the “word of God.” 31% of persons with no college believed the Bible was the literal word of God. Only two out of 10 (19%) of people with no college denounced the Bible as “fables.”
It looks as if Biblical literalism is a minority belief in the United States. The pollsters’ data seems to support the opinion of critics like Rod Dreher who think that America has become a Post Christian country.