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Gallup on Statistics and Discipleship

Terry Mattingly

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George Gallup Jr. has been studying the numbers for a half century and nobody knows better than he does that they just don't add up.

Most of the familiar, comforting statistics that describe public religion remain remarkably stable from poll to poll. Somewhere around 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God and another 8 percent or so in a "higher power" of some kind. Sixty percent say faith is "very important" in daily life and another 15 percent say it's "fairly important."

But there is another side of this religion equation, said Gallup, during a recent address at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary outside Boston.

"Sadly, our society continues to be wracked by domestic problems," he said. "Four in 10 American children go to bed without a father in the home. One-third of teens have been physically abused in the home. One-fourth of all Americans say that drinking is a problem in their home and half of all marriages this year will end in divorce.

"What lies ahead? Will democracy remain viable? ... How can our faith make a difference? How can it sustain us?"

Read the entire article on the Terry Mattingly website.

Posted: 8/6/04



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