Friday, June 01, 2007

So Far Away

Ok, it's twenty questions, and in the box you go! What box? Why, your whole religious philosophy. Try it, but don't buy anything! Ten adds per page is a bit much... I found two things fascinating about this questionnaire. The first is which religions are ranked above/below others. The second is the FACT that it is mainstream to consider secular humanism a religion now. Clearly a established belief system, and they are organized, so only natural to finally recognize such by the whole society. Now, here are the rankings after I performed:
1. Mainline - Conservative Christian Protestant (100%)
2. Seventh Day Adventist (95%)
3. Eastern Orthodox (94%)
4. Roman Catholic (94%)
5. Orthodox Quaker (94%)
6. Mainline - Liberal Christian Protestants (89%)
7. Hinduism (79%)
8. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (61%)
9. Orthodox Judaism (57%)
10. Sikhism (57%)
11. Liberal Quakers (56%)
12. Bahai (56%)
13. Jehovah's Witness (49%)
14. Unitarian Universalism (48%)
15. Jainism (47%)
16. Theravada Buddhism (47%)
17. Mahayana Buddhism (44%)
18. Islam (43%)
19. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (39%)
20. Reform Judaism (39%)
21. Neo-Pagan (38%)
22. Scientology (33%)
23. New Thought (28%)
24. New Age (26%)
25. Taoism (25%)
26. Non-theist (22%)
27. Secular Humanism (16%)

First and foremost, "non-theists" (a.k.a. atheists) rank closer to me that secular humanists. Huh? So the sec-hums actually believe in more emptiness than the atheists... The next oddity in closeness of belief to me is the Orthodox Jews. I definitely expected they would be closer, have to check what the trouble there is. Then we have the Hindus edging out the Mormons. Next, what the heck is a "Liberal Christian Protestant"? Some throwback to archaic Victorian era thought? No modern Lib gets anywhere near the terms Christian and especially Protestant. You have to stretch a bit. I mean, are have you heard of "Protestants for Choice"? How about "Christians for Increased Taxation"? What about "Baptists for Sex Education in Third Grade"? Yeah, doesn't fit to well.

Finally regarding the list, the Quakers come through in a big finish! My ancestors were Friends, and some wrestled with the pacifism. That is a argument I can understand, though disagree with. I do not believe God wants society to "turn the other cheek" when threatened and attacked. Certainly for the individual in polite society it is the proper course. Forgiveness, patience and grace, these attributes elevate discourse. But even as a private individual, you should defend yourself when necessary. So should Western Civilization. It is asinine to ignore threats, and history has many examples of the result.

I would like to see statistics for this poll. It has no demographic information, and is obviously subject to the whims of participants, yet it would be interesting to analyze groupings. Also, each question has a three choice level of importance, haw that factors in to some questions would be fun to see. I had trouble with some questions. The answer as it applied to "standard" doctrine was clear, yet I don't share many of the same beliefs in that regard. I deviate from modern American Christians on a number of issues, though not as it pertains to salvation. However, as pertaining to this poll, we are in good company.

As a parting thought, what does a sec-hum believe in positively? Hard to figure that, but we can see who shares the same abstractions. The farthest third from I are a interesting bunch. Scientologist are in outer space, yet clearly share many areas with the sec-hums. Only eight percent from the Taoist. Strange bedfellows down there, not much in common socially, yet alignment of beliefs. May the one true Creator touch them all.

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