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Biblical Literalism Revisited
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The last time we talked about this topic, there were some who seemed to think that the Biblical literalist, or "Fundie", was a straw man. Most Americans take not just the Old Testament, but most or all of the New Testament, metaphorically, right?

Nope.

Jill and I had a discussion about this, in which she challenged me to back up my generalization that "most Americans may take the Old Testament metaphorically, but most take the New Testament (the virgin birth, Jesus' miracles, his resurrection, etc.) very literally.

So she came across this recent Nick Kristoff editorial, and it was good enough to convince her I wasn't completely full of crap, at least on this subject. She'd insisted that since I grew up in a small Texas town, and now lived in Dallas, that my perception of Americans' religious views were skewed. Not so:


Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83 percent) as in evolution (28 percent).


He's quoting fairly old polls, but I think these numbers have remained stable over the past couple of decades.

I think many people who only travel in their particular intellectual circle would like very much to think, "Oh, they don't really believe such-and-such, do they?"

Well yeah, they do.

Just a reminder that when it comes to religious faith and scientific thinking in this country, we are still woefully stunted and weak.


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