Four Gods in the U.S.

wil

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a figment of your imagination
Thought it might be interesting to see where we fall....

A study by Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion reported fascinating information in the fall of 2006.
First, they found that 85-90% of Americans believe in God. 82% of Americans say they are Christians.
This might lead to the belief that there is uniformity in religion, but the truth is far from it.
• As Americans lose their denominational identity, they are not necessarily losing their religion.
• 10.8% of the population is currently unaffiliated. Of these, 62.9% believe in God or higher power.
• Less than 5% claim a faith outside of the Judeo-Christian mainstream.
• 33.6% are Evangelical by affiliation, though many don’t use the label for themselves. Among
Evangelicals, there seems to be the greatest consistency of belief.
The Baylor study also identified two distinct dimensions of belief in God. They are 1)God’s level of
engagement, and 2)God’s level of anger. In a grid, they have thus come up with four different types of
belief systems in the U.S., and estimated how much of the population hold this view:
• A) 31.4%: authoritarian God—God has lots of involvement in people’s lives and in their decisions, is
responsible for global events such as tsunamis. Also, God is angry and punishes the unfaithful.
• B) 23%: benevolent God—God is active in our daily lives, but is not angry and punishing. God is a
positive force in the world.
• C) 16%: critical God—God does not interact with the world, but nevertheless views the current
state of the world unfavorably. This displeasure will be felt in another life, and divine justice may
not be part of this world.
• D) 24.4%: distant God—God is not active in the world, nor is God particularly angry. God is a cosmic
force that set natural laws into motion. God doesn’t hold opinions nor do things in the world.
• Women tend to see God as more engaged (A & B), men as less engaged (D).
• Those with lower educations and incomes tend toward more engaged ideas of God. Those with the
highest educations and incomes over $100,000 tend to see God as distant (D) or are atheists.
• Easterners tend toward a critical God (C), Southerners toward authoritarian (A), Midwesterners
benevolent (B), and West Coasters distant (D) Catholics and Mainline Protestants tend toward (D).
These may be more useful ways of thinking about belief systems than those along denominational lines.
For more on this study, see http://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/33304.pdf
 
Kindest Regards, wil!
In a grid, they have thus come up with four different types of
belief systems in the U.S., and estimated how much of the population hold this view:
• A) 31.4%: authoritarian God—God has lots of involvement in people’s lives and in their decisions, is
responsible for global events such as tsunamis. Also, God is angry and punishes the unfaithful.
• B) 23%: benevolent God—God is active in our daily lives, but is not angry and punishing. God is a
positive force in the world.
• C) 16%: critical God—God does not interact with the world, but nevertheless views the current
state of the world unfavorably. This displeasure will be felt in another life, and divine justice may
not be part of this world.
• D) 24.4%: distant God—God is not active in the world, nor is God particularly angry. God is a cosmic
force that set natural laws into motion. God doesn’t hold opinions nor do things in the world.
I will grant that I did not look at the site to see if it is better clarified, but the trouble I see so far is that *naturally* they came to the conclusions they did, the questions were preset to arrive at just that very conclusion. This strikes me as a variation on the Meyers-Briggs personality test applied subjectively toward G-d...once again people creating a g-d in their own image.

There is no control listed...and I see no "all of the above" or "none of the above." The choices predetermine the outcome, at least from what I see here.
 
I notice that the chart depicting the type of God (benevolent, authorative, distant, critical) didn't allow for overlaps in the circles. I think that is a mistake. You can have a benevolent God who is also authoritative, to varying degrees, for example. God at times can seem distant. And the Holy Spirit can be critical of our walk with Him. And depending on our status with God, He will either be wrathful or loving. How God deals with us depends on how we have obtained forgiveness or shown mercy or shown love to our neighbor. Are we subjects of wrath or mercy?
 
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