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.


Ma said...

1.)I hope not. I always hope that these guys get a last chance somehow before death. Even Nebuchadnezzar seemed to have repented after his ordeal and I do think there is hope for anyone. (I do believe in hell btw, just wish no one had to go there.)

2.)Yes, I do think it is wrong to "celebrate". We were just reading the story of Jezebel here at home and as bad as she was, they wanted to give her a proper burial since she was a king's daughter. I also think about David's reaction to the deaths of Saul and Absalom, too. He didn't gloat.

3.)I don't know.

4.)Yes, but I believe everyone and everything does.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Is bin Laden in hell? Well, if I understand salvation correctly...He's in hell if, before his death, he did not accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

Yes, I think it's wrong to celebrate bin Laden's death. Relief he's gone? Yes, I feel that. But to celebrate anyone's death simply doesn't feel right to me. I'm sad to know that anyone dies without knowing Jesus.

I have no idea how to answer such a complex question as the Golden Rule as it applies to war.

Don't all people have a God-given role in history?

Darlene said...

Very interesting post, today. (But, then, they always are!)

I haven't done an indepth study on hell, but I've heard some things that have got me thinking. I'm starting to think that hell is not the place of eternal torture, but eternal death--the soul will be destroyed.
Matt. 10:28 - Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

I john 5:11-12 - And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the son of God does not have life.

So, if eternal life is given to us by God, and if God is just, and good and fair and true (He is!), then, would he torture His creation for eternity? Would it be more just to destroy the unbelievers?

(Personally, there are some, like bin Laden, Hitler etc. that I wouldn't mind thinking that they are burning in hell for eternity, but, that's not very Christian!)

I don't think we should celebrate his death, (God does not want anyone to perish), but, we can be glad that evil has been dealt with.

I do believe that America has a God-given role in human history.

Dora's Daddy said...

Good questions:
1) I find it very hard to believe that during his stay in Pakistan that he was reading up on Christianity. If he didn't have the covering of Christ's blood, then yes, he is in Hell. (I would be too)
2) When in church, we clap and celebrate when the pastor speaks about "the battle (between Satan and God) being already won." I rejoice and take pleasure when evil is thwarted. Yes, I am glad that he, as an instrument of Satan is dead. I didn't like the celebrations I saw on the streets though any more than I enjoyed watching the group of Muslim individuals celebrating the fall of the twin towers.
3) Yes, I believe the Golden Rule applies HOWEVER, our soldiers are not threatening the same behavior as their "soldiers." If as a society, we had some radicals running around killing innocent people, I would be in favor of using non-lethal means of extracting information from them about their next target. I believe that NOT using means to extract that information from people attempting to do evil is a sin.
4) Yes, America used to have a special role to play in the history of the world. Now, we are Rome. (Is the fiddling of Nero while Rome burned akin to our president playing golf while millions of citizens are murdured before they have a chance to leave the womb?)

Arlee Bird said...

I don't know that we should be celebrating anyone's death, but we should be thankful that this part of the terror war is finished. As far things related to judgement, that is in God's domain and not mine. I don't know the heart of Bin Laden and I can't even say that everything we've been told about him his true, and for that matter I have no personal evidence that there was ever such a thing as Bin Laden. But if everything we've heard is true, then, yes, I would think he would be consigned to hell for eternity.

I want to believe that America fits into God's plan, but sometimes I wonder.

Tossing It Out

Meghan Smith said...

Is bin Laden in hell? Yes, Bin Laden is in hell. He rejected Christ his whole life. I know of no sign of repentance before his death.

Is it wrong to celebrate his death? Yes, it is wrong to celebrate someone's eternal demise. It's not always wrong to celebrate death, like when you know they are in heaven. My mother's funeral was a celebration. Although I'm glad he's dead, I do not rejoice in his death.

Are we bound to the Golden Rule when it comes to terrorists and war?
Acting as an individual and acting as a country are very different things. Individuals are called to love people and pray for them. As a nation, the king bears the sword for execution. If someone forfeits someone else's right to live, then they have forfeited their own right to live and it is very right to execute such people.

Does America have a special, God-given role in human history?
I think it does, but it's not the Promised Land. It might even be the anti-Christ.

Pat Donovan said...

1) Most definitly

2) Yes very wrong, we should not revel in the lss of a human soul in to the pits of hell.

3) Our enemies are going to do what they do with or without excuses. if the golden rule is "to do unto others as you would have them do unto you." then we should not go to war at all, that would not be practical.
We should treat every one with respect to the sactity of life, and with dignity were possible. Unfortunatly war is not conducive to this in most cases.

4) not according to the word of god, But every CHristian does. Christianity should play a big role in human history, and has but it seems the role is diminishing, but that is a thought for another blog.

Toyin O. said...

Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I don't think celebrating his death will achieve anything as it puts the whole world on Terror Alert by his successors.He was an evil person, as you know I saw Ground Zero a few weeks ago and it made an impact on my life


Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...


Based on the answers in this small sampling (your comment stream), I would say that Christian pastors have a LOT OF WORK TO DO.

Forget the empty, touchie feelie platitudes; quit with the warm, fuzzy happycrap; stop with the P.C. nonsense; and disregard all the fragile self-esteem.

Open up that book and teach WHAT IT SAYS.

Too many nominal christians have developed their theology from their feelings

Penned Pebbles said...

1) If bin Laden did not trust Christ for the forgiveness of his sins to reconcile him with God, then yes, He is in hell. However, only God knows what transpired in his last moments, as I am reminded of the thief on the cross.

2) No, we are not to celebrate or gloat over the punishment or death of anyone. We all are guilty before God, deserving eternal punishment and are recipients of grace only because of God's will and good pleasure to save us. (How often we forget this!)

3) I don't know.

4) Yes and no. Yes, in the big scheme of God using all things in a special way to accomplish His will and purpose. He used Pharaoh as much as Moses. No, I don't think that God has singled out the US as something or some place 'special'. That's a dangerous high horse to be on.

Your answers and explanations are highly anticipated. ;-)


Kansas Bob said...

Is bin Laden in hell?
>>God knows.

Is it wrong to celebrate his death?

Are we bound to the Golden Rule when it comes to terrorists and war?

>>We should never violate our conscience or disobey/quench the Holy Spirit.

Does America have a special, God-given role in human history?

>> American Christians change the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.

*The Old Geezer said...

Is bin Laden in hell? Based on scripture I would have to say yes.

But a more important question is: will my family, friends and neighbors be there with him?

I never had the chance to be a witness and share the gospel with to bin Laden but I do have the opportunity to share the good news with the circle of people where God has placed me.

JD Curtis said...

Bin Laden is in a special place in hell.

I only wish they had dipped their bullets in pig grease first and then advertised the fact later.