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February 17, 2004

Belief in Bible Stories and Astrology

I just had a little chuckle ... okay, I admit, I didn't actually, literally chuckle, but I thought about it. In a recent poll nationwide of US adults ...

"I'm going to ask about a few stories in the Bible. Do you think that's literally true, meaning it happened that way word-for-word; or do you think it's meant as a lesson, but not to be taken literally?"

"The creation story in which the world was created in six days."

61% Literally true

30% Not Literally true

8% No Opinion

"The story of Noah and the ark in which it rained for 40 days and nights, the entire world was flooded, and only Noah, his family and the animals on their ark survived."

60% Literally true

33% Not Literally true

7% No Opinion

ABC News PrimeTime Poll. Feb. 6-10, 2004. N=1,011 adults nationwide. MoE 3. Fieldwork by ICR.

Meanwhile, a recent poll estimates that 31% of people in the US believe in astrology:

31% of the public believes in astrology including 36% of women and 43% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 17% of people aged 65 and over, and 25% of men.

The same poll finds:

68% of the public believes in the devil, and 69% believe in hell.

Let's review. The number of Americans that believe there is an gnarly red devil in hell waiting to gut sinners with a pitchfork outnumbers those who "believe in astrology" by more than a 2:1 margin. And that 2:1 margin holds up when it comes to people who believe the world was created in six days compared to people who believe in astrology.

'Just a little unreality check for you. I guess folks like me have a lot of work to do, huh?

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Posted by MosesSiregarIII at February 17, 2004 09:30 AM


I saw the results of that poll as well. Oh dear yes, you have your work cut out for you (just joking), but the depth of these beliefs systems *are* deeply ingrained in our society. I don't believe the bible stories are literal by any means, but I do know though that on my spiritual journey it took alot of unraveling of many confusions! I feel that since we live in a world of duality and part of our evolution is to synthasize the two (personality and soul)then this cannot happen unless each person has an experience of God directly instead of objectifying what they "believe". Although I read one time that this is how humanity chose to perceive and evolve, and that religion was created in order that mankind have something to aspire to or at least, an ideal to strive towards. What I feel the new age is all about, is direct God realization eventually, and that those of us who may have a different perspective, share that perspective in whatever way appropriate.

Posted by: pj at February 17, 2004 10:17 AM

I was raised as an Episcopalian in the diocese in which Bishop James Pike presided. Bishop Pike was considered to be a maverick - he questioned the virgin birth, was very much involved in the free speech movement in the early 60's and anti-war movement in the late 60's. In Sunday School, my instruction in the the Bible, the Gospels and most importantly, Jesus' ministry was always within the context of the current events at the time. It certainly wasn't a literal orientation and the end result is that my spirit and faith are intact.

Posted by: Genevieve at February 17, 2004 10:41 AM

Yeah, I saw that. Scary, isn't it? Remind me someday to tell you the story of why I was excommunicated (not literally, but asked to leave) from my church as a teenager for daring to say the Bible was simply Christian mythology. That simple revelation and the fall out from it were responsible for completely changing my view of spirituality.

Posted by: Amy at February 17, 2004 12:01 PM

Thanks for writing, pj! Beautiful sentiments.

That's great Genevieve. I actually grew up with an Episcopal church background, and I still love that church, although I almost never attend it. I admire it for the more liberal approach, and I love the richness of their ceremonies.

LOL Amy. Please do tell me that story some time.

Posted by: Moses at February 17, 2004 01:49 PM

There is work to do. Or not. There is a reality where one need do nothing. One simply is who she is. I am not trying to put done the "reality of doingness" (or traditional Christianity), but only acknowledging the "reality of beingness" for others who may feel that there is something more to life than fear of other people's beliefs. For more about this see the "Conversations with God" series, "A Course in Miracles", "The Power of Now", for starters!

In Joy

Posted by: James at February 17, 2004 01:54 PM

I have read many times in different mags and on differents websites that the upcoming transits will completely change the way our country as well as the world in general views reality. We already see it happening with Christianity and the questions that society has been asking in the last 20 years. It's going to be an interesting ride.


Posted by: Donna at February 17, 2004 10:45 PM

In addition to receiving a M.A. in Education, and becoming an Astrologer...I have to say that it's simply amazing how human-beings with the capacity to reason beyond our "ingrained thinking" do not see the connection of what goes on above, so too does below! Those big balls out there we call PLANETS are not floating around for nothing. Just look at there effects on the obvious scientifically proven tides, crops, gravitational pulls. Just using the analogy that we are made up of mostly water. How can we NOT be effected and affected?
I will eternally feel flabber-gasted how one can not admit (at the very least!) the "possiblity" of an obvious connection. Yet, I truly feel the signs of the time are moving in the direction of spiritual awakening. Perhaps, and hopefully this will eventually tie in the connection of World Religions, Numerology, Astrology, Astronomy, and the Big Questions of how, why, where, and when we all began...

Posted by: Noochers at February 17, 2004 11:09 PM

Rather..."just look at "THEIR" affects/effects on us. I hate grammatical errors! It's been a long day...

Posted by: noochers at February 17, 2004 11:12 PM

Your poll about belief made me think, "It's all about PR!!!!" The devil, miracles, and other Christian concepts are believed by so many not because people really reflect on the reality of these things but because they've been brainwashed for so long by a huge, monolithic public relations machine.

I don't know if the 31% belief in astrology should be disheartening or encouraging. I think if all astrologers agreed upon some really kick ass iconography--and just branded the hell out of it--we'd see those numbers go up. We can try and write highly intelligent, thought-provoking material on the matter, but, in all honesty, without astrology grabbing hold of the irrational, or the collective unconscious--without astrology becoming mythic in some way--it won't go anywhere. I'm sort of joking but I also think there's some truth to this.

There's a large part of me that believes that over the course of the next 2 centuries astrology will not only grow in popularity but become accepted--the myth of our times, or the water we all swim in. It's just that the birthing process now is a son-of-a-bitch!!


Posted by: BIll at February 18, 2004 10:19 AM

Hey James! Great to see you, as always. I hear you. I'm a pretty non-dualistic guy, myself. Mainly I care about having enough friends to talk astrology with, and I'm pretty happy as long as that's in place. But then there's that 9th house side of me that feels some pull to "get out the good word." Non-dualistically, I try to embrace both :D

I like what you're talking about Donna! Sign me up :D

Hi Noochers, yeah, I think we have to just keep doing our thing and knowledge of astrology will spread. I know that I've interacted with so many people in my life, and I get the sense I've opened up a lot of eyes to astrology. Knowledge of astrology is really growing by leaps and bounds, and I'm having a lot of fun being a part of that "enlightenment."

Very cool thoughts, Bill. And I think you're onto something there. Isn't it odd how big of a pull irrational mythologies have on the populace? However, maybe it's really the spirituality that people are attracted to, and then they are willing to overlook little things like the creation of the earth in six days in order to keep their faith in something beyond the five senses? Maybe that's actually what astrology needs to more clearly offer to humanity ... a clearer and more direct path to spiritual growth. Hm. Imagine an astrology based on empirically observable, rational principles, which more clearly than ever before connects us with a direct experience of spiritual realities.

Uranus in Pisces, and Neptune in Aquarius, anyone?

Posted by: Moses at February 18, 2004 10:50 AM

Good point

Posted by: cumfiesta at July 22, 2004 02:22 AM

"Nobody needs to tell me what I believe. But I do need somebody to tell me
where Kosovo is."

George W. Bush
August 25, 1999
Quoted in Talk.

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