Can prayer determine the will of God?
Results from the Preliminary Study
Results of the same-sex marriage (SSM) study:
- Total replies received: 85.
- Margin of error: IF the subjects in this test had been
selected at random, then we could compute the margin of error in the
study. "The margin of error in a [randomly selected] sample = 1
divided by the square root of the number of people in the
sample." Thus, with 75 responses, the margin of error would
have been 1/
75 exp -0.5 = .115 = 11.5%. 1,2 This means an
individual survey would have been accurate to within 11.5%, 19 times out of 20.
Thus, if the poll had been taken from a random sample of adults and were repeated 20 times, with the same number of
contributors, a given value would be within 11.5% of the original
value, for 19 of the 20 repeats. However, the subjects were
self-selected. Although their beliefs covered a wide range, they could
not be considered a random sample. So the margin of error calculation is
- Religious makeup: 40 (53%) identified themselves as
Christians; 10 (13%) were Wiccan; 3 (4%) Atheists; 2 (3%) Agnostics;
20 (35%) were NOTAs (none of the above; unaffiliated with a religious group). Christians were somewhat under-represented and Wiccans were
greatly over-represented when compared to the general population. This is to
be expected because of the religious profile of
visitors to this web site at the time of the study.
- Wing: 40 (53%) rated themselves as religiously liberal; 23 (31%) as
conservative; 6 (8%) as mainline; 6 (8%) did not answer the question.
Liberals were over-represented; conservatives and mainliners were
- Assessed the will of God?: 51 (68%) felt that they had probably assessed the will of God;
19 (25%) felt that they were unsuccessful; 5 (7%) did not respond.
- Initial belief about same-sex marriage:
||49 (65%) of all subjects favored SSM.|
||26 (35%) of all subjects opposed SSM. |
|Everyone had an opinion.|
- How certain were they? Of the 50 (67%) subjects who felt that they had assessed the will of God,
most were confident that they had done so correctly. 33 (66%) were
certain; 10 (20%) were very sure; only 7 (14%) were fairly sure, somewhat sure, or
not sure at all.
- Divisions by wing:
|Among the 40 religious liberals, all but 3 (7%) favored SSM.|
|Among the 23 religious conservatives, all but 3 (13%) opposed
|Among this latter group of 3, one is gay and one is bisexual.|
|Among the 20 heterosexual conservative Christians, all opposed SSM.|
- Division by sexual orientation:
|11 (15%) of the subjects were bisexual.|
|7 (9%) were gay or lesbian.|
|58 (77%) were heterosexual.|
||If one assumes that about 5% of the population has a homosexual
orientation and that 5% are bisexual, then gays, lesbians and bisexuals were over-represented in the study.|
|All of the gays and lesbians favored SSM.|
Summary of the study:
|The most significant result, in the author's opinion, is that:
||All of those who personally favored SSM found that God
also favored it.
||All of those who personally opposed SSM found that God
also opposes it.
||God did not disagree with any of the participants' beliefs,
even though they are in conflict.
|With few exceptions:
|Religious liberals favor SSM.|
|Religious conservatives oppose SSM.|
|With no exceptions:
|Heterosexual conservative Christians oppose SSM.|
The main finding:
Although the sample size was small, one result was striking: Of the 68% of the participants who
believed that they assessed the will of God, every
person found that God agreed
with their personal stance on SSM:
|All of those who are personally opposed to SSM reported that God agreed with
|All of those favoring SSM also reported that God agreed with them.|
||None found that God took a intermediate position, saying that God
supported or opposed SSM depending upon the specifics of each
- "The margin of error calculator," at: http://www.mrmprojects.com/
- "So how come a survey of 1,600 people can tell me what 250 million
are thinking," RobertNiles.com at: http://nilesonline.com/
Copyright © 2000 to 2018 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Latest update: 2018-MAY-28.
Author: B.A. Robinson.