I was reading the stats from the recent PEW foundation report on religion in the United States, and it really struck me how different common views of religious Americans are from the reality. I have ideas about why this is- mostly centered on corporate-owned media driving conflict and stereotypes in order to keep us divided... but I thought it might be interesting to just open some of the stats up for discussion. Here's a few interesting ones to me: About 70% of Americans do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation, and the same number also believe that there is more than one true way to interpret their religion's teachings. Yet, to more than 50% of Americans, their religion is very important, they attend services regularly, and pray daily. 75% pray at least once a week and 40% meditate at least once a week. Most want their religion to preserve traditional beliefs and practices, yet they do not believe their religion is the only valid way to salvation. A staggering 92% of Americans believe in God, though some are not as certain about it as others. Oddly, 21% of atheists and 55% of agnostics believe in God. Go figure. LOL While 78% think there are absolute standards of right and wrong, most rely on their own practical experience and common sense to tell them what those are (52%). Only 29% rely on religious beliefs. Finally, while 59% are very satisfied with their personal lives, less than a third (and this was across religious lines) are satisfied with the state of the country and the political system. So... It's a different picture of America than the media often gives us, yes? Less conflict and more tolerance than is usually reported. And yet more religiosity than is usually reported. Thoughts?