X-Message-Number: 33160
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2010 00:45:46 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Mark Plus on religiosity and sham

The following was posted by Mark Plus on Cold Filter:
_Walking Santa,  Talking Christ 
Why do Americans claim to be more religious than they  are?_ 

Two in five Americans say they regularly attend religious  services. Upward 
of 90 percent of all Americans believe in God, pollsters  report, and more 
than 70 percent have absolutely no doubt that God exists. The  patron saint 
of Christmas, Americans insist, is the emaciated hero on the Cross,  not the 
obese fellow in the overstuffed costume. 

There is only one  conclusion to draw from these numbers: Americans are 
significantly more  religious than the citizens of other industrialized 

Except they  are not. 

Beyond the polls, social scientists have conducted more  rigorous analyses 
of religious behavior. Rather than ask people how often they  attend church, 
the better studies measure what people actually do. The results  are 
surprising. Americans are hardly more religious than people living in other  
industrialized countries. Yet they consistentlyand more or less uniquelywant  
others to believe they are more religious than they really are. 

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