Frank Newport, author of the recently published book, “God is Alive and Well,” made a timely appearance this past week at a forum hosted by Concordia University in Southern California.
It followed the much-hyped release of a new survey by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Duke University that stated, “Americans and religion increasingly parting ways.”
Deliberately misinterpreting data culled from the General Social Survey, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, the researchers claimed that the percentage of Americans “preferring no religion” had risen to 20 percent in 2012, down 12 percentage points from 1990.
“We find no evidence of a slowdown,” the researchers declared. Their suggestion is that it is only a matter of time – by the time today’s newborns are 30 years old – before half of Americans are non-religious.
The survey by the Berkeley and Duke researchers jibes with a poll published last fall by the left-leaning Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.
It dubiously claimed that 20 percent of Americans “do not identify with any religion.” And it labeled that supposed faithless fifth “nones,” a moniker that, thanks to the mainstream media, has almost instantly become part of the popular lexicon.
Newport, the Gallup Poll’s editor-in-chief, warned the audience at Concordia, “Don’t be confused by all this talk about ‘nones.’” That 20 percent identified by the Pew poll and the survey released by the Berkeley and Duke researchers “are not necessarily non-religious,” said Newport. “They just don’t have an explicit religion.”
Indeed, like last fall’s Pew poll, the survey by the Berkeley and Duke researchers, suggests an exponential growth in the ranks of those who do not believe in God. But nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that a mere 3 percent of Americans do not believe in God, according to the General Social Survey. And Newport notes that, based on Gallup polling (which boasts a far larger sample size than either Pew or GSS, and is, thus, far more authoritative than either), “America is still a very Christian nation.”
So why would the researchers at Berkeley and Duke deliberately misinterpret the GSS data? Why would Pew play fast and loose with its own polling data?
Because both had hidden political agendas – to make America’s non-religious minority appear much larger than it truly is. To promulgate the fiction that America has become a post-religious nation.
Their ultimate aim is to get God out of public policy. To ignore His Word with respect to such public policy issues as abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, stem-cell research, public prayer, etc.
The researchers at Berkeley and Duke, the pollsters at Pew, appear to have learned the art of disinformation from Vladimir Lenin, one of history’s most notable “nones.”
“A lie told often enough become truth,” he advised.