PHILADELPHIA — President Obama recently called the current election cycle “vulgar,” suggesting that the tenor of the current presidential campaign is divisive and damaging to the reputation of the United States. It seems that many Americans agree.
In the 2016 State of the Bible: The Bible and Politics released today, American Bible Society found that 51 percent of American adults surveyed think politics would be more civil if politicians read the Bible on a daily basis. In addition, 53 percent of those surveyed believe politicians would be more effective if they read the Bible on a regular basis.
The survey, commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group, shows that nearly half of Americans (46 percent) believe the Bible has too little influence in society, while those who think the Bible has too much influence has waned to just 19 percent; down 13 percent from the 2011 report. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of Americans surveyed—80 percent—view the Bible as sacred literature, a percentage unchanged from last year. And more Americans, 66 percent compared with 69 percent in 2015, also agree that the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life.
“Americans still believe the Bible has the power to improve the most uncertain or tumultuous of life’s challenges—even politics—when God’s Word is allowed to influence them. At American Bible Society, we see the transforming power of Scripture everyday, from broken families being restored to men and women overcoming trauma to teens being released from addiction,” said Andrew Hood, director of communications of American Bible Society. “We have a 10-year goal of seeing 100 million people in the U.S. experience the transforming power of the Bible by engaging with it. Whether a politician or a preacher, a truck driver or a teacher, all can have their lives positively changed by God’s Word.”
The State of the Bible is an annual report from American Bible Society on behaviors and beliefs about the Bible among adults in the U.S. For more information about the latest State of the Bible, visit AmericanBible.org.
The 2016 State of the Bible: The Bible and Politics report contains the findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research (a division of Barna Group). Two research methodologies were used for the study; one included 1,008 telephone interviews (including cell phone interviews) with adults in all 50 states in the U.S., while the second study consisted of 1,000 online surveys using a nationally representative panel. The use of two methodologies provided a larger sample size for key questions and ensured even greater representation among all age groups. The telephone interviews were conducted Jan. 20 – 28, 2016, and included U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. The online surveys were conducted Jan. 28 – Feb. 16, 2016.
About American Bible Society:
Since 1816, American Bible Society has worked to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation’s first and most enduring ministries, today’s American Bible Society provides resources across a variety of platforms enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time. For more information, visit AmericanBible.org.