Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Social class and fundamentalism

A reader commented in the "Fundamentalists and delinquency" post that belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is an upper-class phenomenon.

GSS participants were asked: "Which of these statements comes closest to describing your feelings about the Bible? 1. The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word. 2. The Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally, word for word. 3. The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by men."

Here are mean levels of education by answer for whites (sample size = 19,324):

Word of God 12.01
Inspired word 13.71
Book of fables 14.33
Other 14.13

At the 95 percent confidence level, the Inspired Word group is significantly more educated than the Word of God group, and the Book of Fables group is more educated than both of them.


  1. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Protestantism becomes more extreme the thicker people become. It would be interesting to compare and contrast other religions.

  2. The Bible is, indeed, a book of fables. But these fables are the source of our laws, politics, ethics and imagination. They permeate every aspect of Westerner's life, even atheists' like Hitchens are saturated in them.

    People who are not familiar with the fables are functionally illiterate regardless of how many degrees they have.

  3. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Protestantism becomes more extreme the thicker people become.

    Liberalism is an extreme form of Protestantism.

  4. Stephen3:40 PM

    What would 'other' be in this case? It scored a large 14% but I'm having trouble thinking of other answers that wouldn't be covered by the given choices: God's Words, Inspired by God or Man Made.

  5. What happens when you adjust for race? I'm guessing a lot of blacks would fall into the low-education and inspired-word groups.

  6. If liberalism is a form of Protestantism, why were our much more religious Protestant ancestors far less liberal than we are today?
    And were they 'extreme' for believing in the Bible as the Word of God?
    I suppose I am an exception but I have post-grad level education and believe in the ''Word of God'' definition of the Bible, and I don't believe I am less intelligent than my religiously liberal friends.


Are never-married, childless women happier than married moms?

A piece in the Guardian reported that women are happiest if they stay single and childless, according to research done by London School of ...