WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is “the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,” similar to the 26% who view it as “a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man.” This is the first time in Gallup’s four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism. Meanwhile, about half of Americans — a proportion largely unchanged over the years — fall in the middle, saying the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally.
People who use the scientific method to make observations about the world establish theories to explain the patterns they see. Creationists do not establish their own coherent theories. Instead they spend time poking holes in actual scientific theories. The claims they make against true science frequently even contradict.
I love collecting museum gift shop quality accurate dinosaur toys. I have at least 10 of them. On Amazon.com I finally found a toy of my favorite dinosaur – an archeopteryx. After I received it, I posted pictures of it on Facebook along with a brief statement about its being the first dinosaur discovered to have feathers. This fact makes its fossil the first one ever found that is likely a transitionary fossil bridging the gap between dinosaurs and birds. In other words, the fossil’s existence supports the theory of evolution – a theory that flies in the face of creationism and many people of faith.
A religious acquaintance from my home town asked “Isn’t that the fossil that was debunked as a hoax?” I replied that it was a genuine specimen. He quipped, “No, I’m pretty sure it was debunked.” Instead of explaining his claim he just insisted that the fossil is a fake. For the record, reputable scientists agree that the specimen is real. I asked him if he was bringing this claim into my celebration about the newest piece in my collection was for “Jesus reasons.” “Of course not.” He replied. I remain skeptical.
It seems like not more than a day or two goes by without hearing it from somewhere: America is growing hostile towards Christians.
A growing number of Christians– a shocking amount, actually– are convinced that America’s glory days are over and that Christians are now a marginalized group on the verge of having all of their rights stripped away. I recently saw an advertisement for a nation-wide Christian event prior to the election, and the advertisement boasted they would help Christians figure out what to do in a country that was growing hostile towards Christianity. Elsewhere, right-wing politicians and religious talking-heads like Franklin Graham are trying to convince people that “religious liberty” is not only being threatened, but on the verge of disappearing.