America is revealed as one nation under four faces of God

Which God do you believe in?

  • Authoritarian God

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Distant God

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Benevolent God

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Critical God

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the above

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Allah Akbar Crusader dogs you have lost

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
NINE in ten Americans believe in God but how they vote, or regard the Iraq war, depends on the very different views they have about His personality, according to a detailed survey of religion in the US.

It found that Americans hold four different images of God — Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical or Distant — and these views are far more powerful indicators about their political, social and moral attitudes than any of the traditional categories such as Protestant, Catholic or Evangelical.

The study also suggests that America is more religious than previously thought, with only 5.2 per cent of respondents calling themselves atheist and 91.8 per cent saying that they believed in God.

Researchers found that Americans hold four distinct views, and these “Four Gods” are remarkably accurate diviners of how an American thinks about everything from politics, abortion, taxation and marriage. “You learn more about people’s moral and political behaviour if you know their image of God than almost any other measure,” said Christopher Bader, one of the researchers.

Nearly a third of Americans, 31.4 per cent, believe in an Authoritarian God, angry at earthly sin and willing to inflict divine retribution — including tsunamis and hurricanes. People who see God this way are religiously and politically the most conservative. They are more likely to be less educated and have lower incomes, come from the South and be white evangelicals or black Protestants.

At the other end of the scale is the Distant God, seen by 24.4 per cent as a faceless, cosmic force that launched the world but leaves it alone. This is seen more by liberals, moral relativists and those who don’t attend church. This God has most believers on the West Coast.

The Benevolent God, popular in America’s Midwest among mainstream Protestants, Catholics and Jews, is one that sets absolute standards for man, but is also forgiving — engaged but not so angry. Caring for the sick is high on the list of priorities for these 23 per cent of believers.

The Critical God, at 16 per cent, is viewed as the classic bearded old man, judgmental but not going to intervene or punish, and is popular on the East Coast.

“This is a very powerful tool to understand core differences in the United States,” said Paul Froese, a professor at Baylor. “If I know your image of God, I can tell all kind of things about you. It’s a central part of your world view.”

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Where is the God that is sat with his head in his hands, despondently muttering to himself "You stupid bunch of cnuts."?

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