Reading the Godometer through charts

With apologies to Steve Benen and Stephen Colbert, I've stumbled across a couple interesting charts relating to religion and faith that are worth sharing.

First, courtesy of Secular Right, here's a chart that shows the frequency of prayer by party identification:

I'm honestly quite surprised. After all, Democrats are supposed to be godless heathens, right? Yet it turns out that people with strong partisan leanings pray with almost identical frequency. Those considered "not strong" (which seems to be a very poor term to differentiate between strong and lean) also were extremely similar.

The only difference of any slight significance seems to be in the leaners, where republicans pray slightly more (maybe about 5% or so). Prayer tendencies of independents are pretty much the same as the lean Democrats - that's something the Dems should be conscious of, though I wonder how much of the party identification itself might have been affected by the 2008 election.

Now, what this survey doesn't cover is what religion the respondents subscribe to. Perhaps they pray to a Christian god, or a Jewish god, or Buddha, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It's clear from this, however, that both sides of the aisle have about as much faith as each other. But I'm sure that the right will continue to bash the left because they don't pray to the right kind of god.

Next up is a graph depicting the acceptance of evolution in several primarily Muslim countries:

(the chart isn't as clear as I'd like. The countries from top to bottom are Kazakhstan (very nice), Turkey, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt), and the graph measures, from left to right, the belief that evolution is true)

I guess this proves two things.

  1. The Christian right has more in common with Muslims than they thought.
  2. Extremism and fanaticism of any form is an extremely scary thing.

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