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Religion Poll Results

Citizens pray for rain at Blanco Co. Courthouse

The response to the Chronicle's religion questionnaire, which was published in August and September, was far greater than we expected. More than 70 responses came in, with the vast majority of respondents saying that religion was playing a larger role in their lives. Only a handful of responses were from agnostics or atheists. Some of the responses were thoughtful (one letter was two typed pages, single-spaced). Most were quickly dashed off. Some were hilarious. For instance, one respondent, who described himself as an "anti-religionist" said that he only prayed to the "Creator, in case one exists." When responding to the question asking if he had children, he said, "no, thank God."

The following is a very scientific analysis of the poll's results.

Not surprisingly, our poll respondents tended to be quite religious:

  • 85% said they pray (or meditate, or "address my creator")

  • 83% said religion was playing a large or increasing role in their lives

  • 82% said they attend religious services of some variety, though several noted that "church" was not the right term for their brand of worship

  • 79% give money to their "church"

  • 52% do volunteer work for their "church"

Interestingly, though, on the question of religion and politics, people lost their faith.

  • Only 32% said yes to the question, "does religion play a positive role in politics?"

  • Of the 41% who answered no to that question, the predominant sentiment was summed up in one answer: "No. Just look at the Christian Coalition and that should answer that question." But many put more blame on politicians: "God is conspicuously missing from their dealings with the people..." and "there is no positive role in politics."

Of the people who identified their religious affiliation, there were:

  • 81% Christian, of some denomination, led by Catholics (17%), Episcopalians (13%), Baptists (9%), and fundamentalists of some variety (11%). Of the remainder, there were:

  • 7% various faiths which might be grouped as "new age"

  • 4% Eastern (Hindu, Buddhist)

  • 4% Pagan/Wiccan

  • 2% each, Jewish and Bahai

    This poll has a margin of error of 47%. Our thanks go out to all who participated.

    ©Copyright 1996, The Austin Chronicle (TX, USA)

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