Astrological Musings

Astrological Musings

Harris Poll on Religion

A new Harris Poll has some interesting findings including these:

  • 82 percent of adult Americans believe in God unchanged since the question was last asked in 2005;
  • Large majorities of the public believe in miracles (79%), heaven (75%), angels (74%), that Jesus is God or the son of God (72%), the resurrection of Jesus (70%), the survival of the soul after death (69%), hell (62%), the devil (62%), and the virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary) (60%);
  • Roughly equal numbers both minorities – believe in Darwins theory of evolution (42%) and creationism (39%);
  • Sizeable minorities believe in ghosts (41%), UFOs (35%), witches (31%), astrology (29%) and reincarnation (21%);

Belief in astrology is up 4% since 2005. Perhaps fueled by the burgeoning astroblogosphere? However, more people believe in witches, UFOs and creationism than astrology. Not surprisingly, the religious denomination with the lowest belief in astrology are the born-again Christians. Catholics showed the highest percentage of astrology believers with 36%.

The poll showed its own bias by only including three religious groups: Protestant, Catholic, born-again Christian and agnostic/atheist.

  • Beth Owls Daughter

    I definitely believe in witches, as I am one!

    But in all seriousness, I wonder if more Americans would “believe in” (whatever *that* means!) astrology if they were re-educated that it is so much more than the daily horoscope in the funny pages

  • Jill

    Nothing quite like skewing the sample, eh?

    Extrapolating this to be representative of adult Americans is kind of a stretch. I’d be surprised if a largely Christian-skewed sample DIDN’T come up with these results.

    I would love to see a poll which asks about the NATURE of God — whether it’s the Great White Alpha Male in the Sky that they’re talking about, or something they can’t define but believe is there.

    What is striking, however, is how many in this sample believe in reincarnation, which is kind of inconsistent with the notions of heaven and hell.

    I’m not surprised that Catholics show the highest percentage of astrology believers. Maybe it’s the aspect of mysticism and ritual inherent in the Catholic practice, but in my experience, Catholics also have a high incidence of going to “psychics.” Why they pay people to tell them things about their lives that they already know (which is usually what they come away with), I have no idea, because they usually don’t come back with insights into how to resolve issues in their lives; they come back with “She told me things that she couldn’t have possibly known, that’s how I know it’s for real.” That may very well be true, but then what’s the point

  • Lynn

    Beth, I don’t think Harris Polling means witches like you and I.

    It has been my mission since beginning this blog to try to bring astrology out into the real world and demonstrate that astrology is more than sun sign nonsense, and my fellow astrobloggers are also on that mission. Hopefully we’re having some impact!

    Jill – that is a good point about what people mean by God. If someone says to me, do you believe in God or are you an atheist? I don’t believe in God being that alpha male in the sky, but I do believe in an intelligent and conscious universe and in spirit guides that perform the functions usually attributed to God.

    Another excellent point: She told me things that she couldn’t have possibly known, that’s how I know it’s for real.” That may very well be true, but then what’s the point? Doing the Body Mind Spirit expos are always a hoot. People go to 3 or 4 people for readings, and they’ll come to me and said “So and so said I would be on Oprah next year!” or “that person said I was an Atlantean Priestess.” What indeed IS the point of that kind of nonsense

  • Joe

    The point is ego-stroking, IMO. People these days are lost in a sea of other people and seem to need some sense of importance. They miss the importance that comes from within and think they need someone else to validate them. For some, that means being an Atlantean priestess in some past life.

    What’s really a hoot is when they are told they were Cleopatra in a former life. That’s got to be the oldest one in the book

  • Ken

    I think the poll is encouraging. After over 150 years of the teaching of evolution, which is designed to destroy faith in God, people’s faith is still strong.

    This world’s system is crazy though. They want you to believe in the hocus pocus of evolution, how we got here by total chance, but they don’t want you to believe in astrology or planetary influence. Maybe it’s because astrology shows there is some design to creation, which could suggest a designer–and that goes against their random chance position

  • Lynn

    You’re absolutely right, Joe. But it seems like that’s why a lot of people go to psychics, not because they really want answers that will make a difference.

    Interesting, Ken – you appear not to be an evolutionist. And while it doesn’t take much more than viewing the National Geographic Planet Earth series to convince anyone that there is Creative Design at work, the question is Whose? Jehovah? the Great Spirit? the Goddess Isis? Or the Annunaki doing genetic engineering

  • Ken

    Due to a very beautiful, life-changing experience I had with Jesus when I was 18, I identify with him and the God of the Bible. However, I’m not a church Christian. I’m also an astrologer, and I disagree with the rejection of astrology by some Christians.

    So I view creation etc from the Biblical perspective. I also feel that at times we’re all taking about the same thing when referring to God, Jehovah, the Great Spirit etc. I also think God’s spiritual world is inhabited by many spiritual creations and departed human beings so that many of these gods and goddesses are his emissaries with jurisdiction over certain spheres of creation and life. I would even think that the Holy Spirit is the female side of the Godhead.

    Anyway, those are just my opinions based on my experience

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