In a new web poll just taken, Newsweek proclaims "Most Americans believe the virgin birth is literally true. The poll went on to say that Seventy-nine percent of Americans believe that, as the Bible says, Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, without a human father,Sixty-seven percent say they believe that the entire story of Christmasthe Virgin Birth, the angelic proclamation to the shepherds, the Star of Bethlehem and the Wise Men from the Eastis historically accurate. Fifty-two percent of all those polled believe, as the Bible proclaims, that Jesus will return to earth someday .Sixty-two percent say they favor teaching creation science in addition to evolution in public schools, Forty-three percent favor teaching creation science instead of evolution in public schools. Now I'm not going into the opposing data in the poll, you can read the article here, but what was significant to me was the sample group that was used to conduct this poll.
Princeton Survey Research Associates interviewed by telephone 1,009 adults, aged 18 and older on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Their lead in is that " Most American's believe the virgin birth is literally true." So Newsweek wants us to believe that all of America is represented by 1009 people? Already the cable media has pounced on this study, decreeing that 80 % of all Americans believe in the virgin birth!
On Chris Matthews
he said that "four out of five people believe in the Virgin birth; it's a powerful fact about American life."
On Scarborough Country
, hosted by Pat Buchanan. A panel discussion on Christmas, had Jerry Johnson from the Christian college "Criswell", Dave Silverman form American Atheist, and Jennifer Giroux from Women Influencing the Nation(really she only has a :See the Passion of the Christ website). It was three to one in this debate. Buchanan raised this poll as the definitive word on the subject and never let Dave Silverman answer entirely without cutting him off.
My first question is why did they have to have this panel discussion against an atheist? It inherently sets up a battlefield that says you either believe in the Virgin birth or you are an atheist.
I've contacted Newsweek to find out how their sampling was done in this poll, but I haven't heard back as yet. For the better part of six months Americans have been deluged with election polls and their accompanying data. Registered voters, likely voters, etc... that type of demographic. Is this a random poll? Is this a poll representing only religious people? Registered Church-goers, unregistered Church-goers, undecided Church-goers, once a week Church-goers, more than once a week Church-goers, people who have faith, but dont go to church. These are questions that should be important. I did my own little poll to see the merits in Newsweek's poll. I called five of my friends in California, two of whom are Christians and asked them if they believed in the Virgin birth "literally?" All five said no! I called three people in Florida, and they all said that they thought the Virgin birth story was a nice story, but was not literal. I called Direct TV because they have call centers in Idaho and Utah.( very religious regions of the country) The girl that answered was from Utah(but not a Mormon) and she thought it just was a nice story. I called my sister who is a Born-Again-Christian and she did believe that the Virgin birth was true. So of the ten people I called, only one person believed in the Virgin birth "literally." My poll of course is not scientific. I myself was brought up Roman Catholic and believe that Jesus lived and that his mesage was devinely inspired. It has helped me in no uncertain terms, but do I believe that he was born to a virgin? No. Does that make me a hedonist, a paganist, a demonizer? If you read this story called Immaculate Deception you will know where a certain percentage of people stand. Does that make me a secular?
That's what the evangelicals want. "You are with us or against us!"
Bill O'Reilly thinks that seculars want to turn America into Canada!
There is a Religious battle going on now, that Karl Rove and George Bush have started in his second term. By targeting the evangelical base in their election, they have drawn the line in the sand for many religious voters to try and break down the seperation between the Church and State. Is Newsweek's Poll a true sampling of our country? Does this poll throw fuel on the fire? Its going to get only uglier as President Bush's second term unfolds.