A Different Kind of Blog

news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

God-belief runs rampant in USA. Well, duh…

Posted by 1minionsopinion on March 15, 2010

In a study that seems almost redundant, Canadian researchers took the results from two U.S. surveys regarding people and their faith in god and came to the (quite obvious) conclusion that many Americans are deluded habitually giving god credit for everything from a winning touchdown to getting voted into power to getting a speeding ticket.

“In American culture — much less so in Canada — there’s a really constant flow of God-talk that references these small, personal interactions. It’s almost like a self-absorbed view of divine will,” says study author Scott Schieman, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto.

“The extent that it’s so visible, almost saturating the culture at times, makes me think it’s not just metaphor or symbolism; many, many people believe these processes are real.”

Eight in 10 Americans say they depend on God for decision-making guidance.

Seven in 10 believe that when good or bad things happen, the occurrences are part of God’s plan.

And six in 10 believe God has set the course of their lives.

Crazy. The article also reports on the fact that a third of those surveyed believed there was essentially no free will, that god is the guiding hand in every event, for good or ill.

“If you feel like, ‘No matter what I do, it’s all going to work out a particular way,’ what does that do for your motivation?” says Schieman, who suggests the 32 per cent of people who behave this way do so because it relieves anxiety in desperate circumstances, shifting the pressure skyward.

For others, they treat the invisible dude like he’s a BFF and get great feelings of love and confidence out of their delusion.

The concept permeates shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol and Big Brother, all of which frequently feature participants who credit their victories to a higher power. They also assume their failures are part of His plan, rely on prayer to further their competitive success or talk as though the right hand of God is cramped from texting votes on their behalf.

“People will weave a divine narrative into just about anything,” says Schieman …

Personally, I think the bigger question should be why. Why do so many people still cling to religion to get through life? Even if they claim they aren’t following a religion, that it’s all spiritual and godding around town with best buddy Jesus as a co-pilot is just something to brag about. Why do it? Why think it? Aside from feeling like they have big important friends solving their problems for them, what else is going on in their heads to make this logical and worth believing?

How did it come about? Has it always been this bad, or is something making it worse? Why does faith become such a powerful force for so many people? And why does faith have no impact for other people?



4 Responses to “God-belief runs rampant in USA. Well, duh…”

  1. kay~ms said

    Here’s an interesting youtube video that I’m sure you will like.. it’s called “Why won’t God heal amputees?”.

    What I found interesting about this video was that the author Marshall Brain, argues against his own point. He tells college educated viewers to use their “critical thinking skills” to realize how unreasonable it is to believe in God. And then he provides a statistic of 3 out of 4 doctors who believe that God answers prayer. Aren’t doctors college educated..and know how to think “critically” and logically? Yes, of course…and wow!.. 3 out of every 4 BELIEVE that God answers prayer!


  2. Enkill_Eridos said

    This made me laugh..much like the abortion rates that are lower than the United States all have universal health care systems AND provide free abortions. Those countries have lower abortion rates and higher adoption rates than the United States. Then I laugh because Conservative Pro-Lifers in this country is against universal health care system, even when there is actual proof that universal health care lowers abortion rates. This is mainly because a universal health care system make carrying to term cheaper than abortion, and adoption agencies. There is an almost age old social ill I will write about.

    And I absolutely promise it is not a redundant and contradictory concept. Nor will it be full of double-talk and Kay you may not fully understand it because it will be void of double-talk, and it will not be a completely illogical article.

    Also 1minion, why should it matter if people in the US wants to believe in a higher being? It’s not the religion that is the problem, but the people in it. More on that at 11…


  3. dudeabides said

    These type of posts seem to happen within a few weeks of Easter every year, without fail. One can set almost their calendar by them. While you’re feeling smug, how about some USA bashing around late June.


  4. Excellent work ,Eager to see next one.


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