Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
-Christian definition
 -Shared beliefs
 -Handling change
 -Bible topics
 -Bible inerrancy
 -Bible harmony
 -Interpret the Bible
 -Persons
 -Beliefs & creeds
 -Da Vinci code
 -Revelation, 666
 -Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Religious Beliefs Of U.S. Adults,
About Their Own And Other Religions.

Page 2

horizontal rule

Religious symbols

(Somehow, they missed Wicca again!)

horizontal rule

Two other topics are described in the previous essay.

horizontal rule

This essay discusses poll results on:

bullet 3. How U.S. adults view salvation outside their faith tradition

bullet 4. How U.S. adults view their own spirituality and religious faith

bullet 5. How religiously inclusive are U.S. adults?

horizontal rule

Sponsored link

3. How U.S. adults view salvation outside their faith tradition:

Beliefnet and Newsweek conducted a poll of 1,004 U.S. adults. They asked the question: "Can good people outside your faith tradition attain salvation as you understand it?" They left the definition of "tradition" up to their visitor. Some probably interpreted it to mean their congregation; some their denomination; some their religion's particular wing that they belong to (conservative, mainline, liberal); some as their religion.

Results were:

bullet 57%: "Yes, fully, if they are sincere in their efforts to know or worship a deity."

bullet 29% "No, and there are consequences."

bullet 9% "I don't know.

bullet 3% "Yes, but not fully."

bullet 1% "No, but they are not punished." 1

Some might scratch their heads in confusion over these results. They seem to indicate that there are many members of faith traditions all over the U.S. who feel secure in their own salvation but who believe that members of other faith traditions are doomed. Yet many members of those faith traditions that they reject, also reject them in return. This is a reflection of a curious phenominon in religion. Christianity is similar to many other major world religions:

  • There are a approximately 30,000 Christian denominations, sects, and faith groups in the world.

  • Although they all base their beliefs on their group's sincere and careful interpretation of the Bible, they teach different beliefs.

  • Most members believe that their own faith group has "the fullness of truth" and that all of the other faith groups in their religion and in other religions are in error.

Anyone who has access to a person skilled in statistics might wish to ask their opinion of the above three observations.

horizontal rule

4. How U.S. adults view their own spirituality and religious faith:

One of the most important pieces of religious information is that about 87% of U.S. adults considered themselves to be Christians during most of the 20th century. This value appears to be currently dropping at almost one percentage point per year. It reached 70.6% by 2014. If this rate of decline holds, then most U.S. adults will not consider themselves Christian before the mid 2030's.

However, this datum does not tell us anything about the seriousness with which adults consider their faith. One source described the results of a 1993 in-depth survey of about 4,000 U.S. adults. They concluded that:

bullet30% are totally secular in outlook.
bullet29% are barely or nominally religions.
bullet22% are modestly religious.
bullet 19% regularly practice their religion. 2

A USA Today-CNN-Gallup poll sampled 1,037 U.S. adults in late 1999. 3 They found that:

bullet30% described themselves as "spiritual" but not interested in attending church.
bulletAbout 54% of respondents said they are religious, but 45% of those said they are more likely to follow their own instincts than denominational teachings. 

The religious makeup of Canada appears to be similar to that of the U.S.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

5. How religiously inclusive are U.S. adults?

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, released on 2002-MAR-28, described one rather curious question on religious inclusiveness. They combined two concepts within a single question. 4 They asked 2,202 adults:

bulletWhether they considered their own faith group to be the "one true faith," or

bulletWhether they believed that followers of many different religions can attain eternal life.

There are two problems with this question:

bulletA person might regard their own religion to be the one true faith, and yet believe that followers of other religions will still attain eternal life.

bulletMost Christians believe that everyone will attain eternal life. However, many believe that the majority of people will spend eternity in being tortured in Hell.

For what it is worth, their results were:

bullet 18% believe that their religion is the "one-true faith."

bullet 75% believe that many religions can lead to eternal life.

bullet Almost half (48%) of "highly committed white evangelical Protestants" say that many religions can lead to eternal life. This shows that many conservative Christians opposed the foundational teaching of their denominations that the unsaved will go to Hell.

horizontal rule

Five additional topics are shown in the next essay:

How U.S. adults describe themselves.
Biblical world views.
Gender differences.
Can a person be moral if they don't believe in God?

horizontal rule

References:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Newsweek/Beliefnet Poll Results," Beliefnet, 2005-AUG, at: http://www.beliefnet.com/news/
  2. International Social Survey Program (ISSP), 1991 & 1993. Quoted in George Bishop, "What Americans really believe," Free Inquiry, 1999-Summer, Pages 38 to 42.
  3. USA Today-CNN-Gallup poll for 1999-DEC, as reported in ReligionToday on 1999-DEC-29.
  4. "Americans Struggle with Religion's Role at Home and Abroad," The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2002-MAR-28, at: http://people-press.org/

horizontal rule
Site navigation:

 Home page > Christianity > Christian history, belief... > Polls > here

 Home page > Religious info. > Basic info. > Polls > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1999 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1999-MAY-13
Latest update: 2017-FEB-20
Author: B.A. Robinson 

line.gif (538 bytes)

Sponsored link


horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the U.S. religious beliefs menu, or choose:

Custom Search

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?


Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.