Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Poll: 2/3 of Americans believe bin Laden is in Hell!
(RNS1-MAY11) Ray Maldonado of Paterson, N.J., marks the death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden at Ground Zero in New York. For use with RNS-BINLADEN-POLL, transmitted May 11, 2011. RNS photo by John Munson/The Star-Ledger.
According to a PPRI/RNS Religion News Poll:
Regardless of whether the debate is still going on about what to do with the body of bin Laden, the majority of those polled believe that his soul is in hell.
In a new poll that was released May 11, it seems that 82% of Americans believe bin Laden distorted the teachings of Islam to suit his own purpose. The poll also showed that 65% of Americans also believe that bin Laden will spend an eternity in hell being punished for his sins.
80% those who listed themselves as "evangelical Christians" believe he is in hell. While only 2/3 those who listed themselves as Catholic belief that bin Laden is in hell.
Interestingly enough, the poll revealed that Americans are more conflicted over whether celebrations were proper after the announcement of his death. About 60% believed that the Bible's message, "Do not rejoice when your enemies fall," applies to bin Laden.
Some other opinions:
53% of Americans say that the US should follow the Golden Rule and not use any methods on our enemies that we would not want used on our own soldiers. This is down from a 2008 poll when the number was 62%
Support for the Golden Rule principle was strongest among minority Christans, Catholics, and religiously unaffiliated Americans.
Younger Americans (18-34), 69%, are more likely to believe the Bible passage about not celebrating "when you enemy falls" than those 65 and older, 47%
Religiously unaffiliated Americans (57%) are more likely than Christians to say the use of torture against suspected terrorists can never be justified. Catholics, (53%) believe torture should never be used or justified.
The majority of white evangelicals (54%) and minority evangelicals (51%) believe that God had a hand in locating bin Laden, while only 1/3 of mainline denominations and only 42% Catholics believe God helped find bin laden.
Only 51% of Americans believe God has granted America a special role in human history. 2/3 of evangelicals (63%) and (51%) of Catholics believe America has a special role.
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion professor and the author of God is Not One,
He was most surprised by the Golden Rule responses, which indicate that half the country is willing to disregard Christianity's most commonly expressed teaching, at least, when it comes to wartime.
"There is this sense that America is supposed to be a Christian nation...but that tends to be more of a slogan than a reality. Are you willing to think about the bible when it comes to torture and terrorism and bin Laden, or are you just throwing biblical principles out of the window and going with your gut and your anger and your revenge?"
So what do you think?
Is bin Laden in hell? (Don't tell Rob Bell - all we need is another book)
Is it wrong to celebrate his death?
Are we bound to the Golden Rule when it comes to terrorists and war?
Does America have a special, God-given role in human history?
The PPRI/RNS Religion News Poll was based on telephone interviews of 1.007 U. S. adults between May 5th and May 8th, 2011. The Poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM