Quantcast

«

»

Feb 02 2013

Poll: Many Americans Believe God Determines the Final Score

A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that a significant number of Americans believe that the outcome of sports contests is determined by God and that God makes sure that believing athletes do better and get injured less.

“In an era where professional sports are driven by dollars and statistics,” said institute CEO Robert P. Jones, “significant numbers of Americans see a divine hand at play.”

Asked if they believe God plays a role in who wins, 27% of Americans said yes. Poll results varied among regions and religions: 36% said yes in the South, 28% in the Midwest, 20% in the Northeast and 15% in the West.

Among nonwhite Christians and white evangelicals, 40% and 38% said yes, respectively; 29% of Catholics and 19% of white mainline Protestants also responded that God plays a role.

I’d love to see a poll of the athletes themselves on those questions. I bet more athletes believe in divine intervention in the games than fans do.

42 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    glodson

    If there’s a god, I’m sure he’s a sports bookie.

    Jesus shaves points!

  2. 2
    Argle Bargle

    The same god who set up a universe with millions of galaxies and trillions of stars cares if Poodunk High beats East Bumfuk in “The Big Game”? Yeah right!

  3. 3
    otrame

    All this shows is that 27% of Americans are really, really silly. Not exactly news.

  4. 4
    timgueguen

    Many athletes who don’t believe God intervenes directly will still believe that superstitions help them win. So they do things like not shaving for months if they go on a winning streak, or shaving off their beards if they go on a losing streak.

  5. 5
    anubisprime

    Otrame got there first….

    It demonstrates just how fucking loony and brain dead 27% of these jeebus sunbeam idiots actually are.

    According to them Tebow should never be injured, considering his devotion to a majik sky fairy, thing is that did not quite pan out recently…perhaps he is not praying hard enough?

  6. 6
    slc1

    Re otrame @ #3

    20% of Americans believe that the Sun goes around the earth so these figures are in no way surprising.

  7. 7
    Who Knows?

    That’s how they work out the bad things in life too. Some kid gets kidnapped, raped, and murdered…

  8. 8
    Neil Rickert

    “In an era where professional sports are driven by dollars and statistics,” said institute CEO Robert P. Jones, “significant numbers of Americans see a divine hand at play.”

    Yes, many Americans do seem to believe in the divinity of The Almighty Dollar.

  9. 9
    dingojack

    “What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny’? ‘Make yourself at home”‘ ‘Marry my daughter’? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons”.

    :) Dingo

  10. 10
    chisaihana5219

    These are the people that believe that everything happens because of the will of god. If my child dies of cancer, it is god’s will. If he is cured, it is god’s will. If my team wins, it’s god’s will. If the tsunami kills thousands it’s god’s will, etc. Devout Muslims believe exactly that also. Every goodbye is followed by “see you tomorrow, inshalla (god willing). It is a way to abdicate personal responsibility for everything. If I get fired, it’s not because I was a lousy employee, it’s because god sees another path for me. By not believing in god, you have to take personal responsibility for your actions. These believers aren’t stupid, they are just lazy. As long as god takes the blame for everything, they can sit back and watch life go by, until it finally goes bye-bye….

  11. 11
    stever

    Th,ere are otherwise-sane people who believe that it’s all The Will O’Gawd. They don’t even believe in physics. The apple falls, not because it follows a geodesic through curved spacetime, or even because mass attracts mass, but because GOD pushes it down. I heard a radio preacher say that last year, and I’ve encountered that attitude elsewhere. I suppose it makes a twisted kind of sense for an infinite intellect to run the universe in every detail. You just about have to believe this shit to believe that prayer is more effective than dumb luck. When you start casually throwing infinities around, it’s easy to derive absurdities. No use trying to argue with such people. Faith is utterly impervious to logic. It’s even strongly resistant to physical counterexamples.

  12. 12
    Cuttlefish

    Actually, there are enough methodological problems with that poll that I wouldn’t trust it a bit: http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2013/01/29/just-in-time-for-the-super-bowl/

    For one thing, their report of how many people spend a given sunday at church is about 7 points higher than most polls, and even religious researchers find that polled attendance is about double actual attendance. For another, their press release mentions some numbers that were not measured in their poll, but does not give a source.

  13. 13
    Doug Little

    What were the numbers of the people laughing in the pollsters face when asked the question.

  14. 14
    wildbill

    Testing this claim, I decided to look at the end of the regular NFL season. Whoever God helped win the most must be in the superbowl tomorrow. So we see that God really loves the Falcons and Broncos (and he really hates Chiefs and Jaguars). Maybe he took a rest during the playoffs.

  15. 15
    tbp1

    I’ve never understood the mentality that thinks God can’t be bothered with, say, AIDS or famines, but personally intervenes in sports events.

  16. 16
    Abdul Alhazred

    A single trivial instance of a more consequential philosophical position: Absolute determinism.

    Don’t ask me where praying before the big game fits into that. ;)

  17. 17
    shouldbeworking

    I can picture god, the angels and all the saints (the “real” ones) gathered around the Divine HD TV cheering on their favourite teams. If they intervene, are they the ones really responsible for the fouls, penalties and fumbles?

  18. 18
    LightningRose

    If that’s true, why don’t we just end football games with the coin toss and the team owners could then fire the coach and players and donate the salaries to charity?

  19. 19
    llewelly

    Will those who rooted for the losing team will burn in the fires of Hell forever?

    Sadly that question was not asked in the survey …

  20. 20
    Rob F

    I could be convinced that some sort of “religious thing” might help an individual athlete handle the “mental aspects” of their sport. Over the course of a season, with individual matches featuring relatively even opponents, this might make a little bit of a difference. Emphasis on a little bit.

    But if the teams are completely mismatched (I’ve sadly seen plenty in women’s ice hockey), than any sort of religious belief/”mental preparation” would have no effect.

  21. 21
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    chisaihana5219

    Every goodbye is followed by “see you tomorrow, inshalla (god willing).

    You realize that the English “goodbye” is also from ‘god be with you”, yes. ;) It’s everywhere.

  22. 22
    d.c.wilson

    Well, to be honest, I can’t think of any way a shitty quarterback like Tebow could get an NFL contract besides. Divine intervention.

  23. 23
    SnowyBiscuit

    wildbill:
    Testing this claim, I decided to look at the end of the regular NFL season. Whoever God helped win the most must be in the superbowl tomorrow. So we see that God really loves the Falcons and Broncos (and he really hates Chiefs and Jaguars).

    To be fair, a lot of people from Jacksonville hate the Jaguars, too. Perhaps they prayed a more pleasing prayers than the believers?

  24. 24
    magistramarla

    I recently read a loon’s post who said that the Ravens beat the Patriots because more of the Ravens team stood at attention, with hands over hearts, for the national anthem while many of the “non-Patriots” did not, and their coaches were acting bothered by the delay.
    He said that he would observe the two teams during the anthem singing tomorrow and would cheer for the “most patriotic” team.
    The loons get more loony every day.

  25. 25
    Dr X

    Close cousin to “everything happens for a reason” and by reason the speaker means purpose. I’ve known non-believers who believe this.

  26. 26
    archangelmikes

    do a search on ytube for skepticality

    it is the video about the pigs

    you represent the complete alienation of thought from action

  27. 27
    looseleaf

    What’s cool is that God does all this while achieving a remarkable similarity to the outcomes if only skill, practice, coaching, psychology and luck were at work. What a guy.

  28. 28
    frankb

    If there is a god, of course s/he would be watching. In a universe of billions of galaxies and quadrillions of stars and a near infinity of rocks traveling in curves, a tiny planet having bags of chemicals running around lobbing a ball at each other is bound to attract attention. But why would such a creature be tempted to interfere? That is the silly part.

    Ok, ok. Some immature brat of a deity was responsibly for the bad call on the hail mary pass in the packers-seahawks game.

  29. 29
    Christoph Burschka

    So this God guy intervenes in sporting competitions according, presumably, to divine whim (because there is no apparent correlation to which team’s fans prayed harder), while leaving children to starve or get murdered elsewhere, and then caps it by hating on people for being gay.

    Why do people worship him again?

  30. 30
    peterh

    Tim Tebow is one of the more overrated and obnoxious godbotherers of our time; where does his abysmal record fit into this?

  31. 31
    anubisprime

    magistramarla @ 24

    The loons get more loony every day.

    And the desperate get more desperate…we have witnessed that with the political right winged dimbats and that trait simply seems endemic if not fucking mandatory in the theist camp.

    They are just clinging on to any wild and fretful fancy even if slippery with the imaginings of a none to bright cretin….they are indeed slipping inexorably into the tarpit of toxic mythological detritus, they are losing power and the plot and they are frightened.

  32. 32
    llewelly

    peterh | February 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm (UTC -5):

    “Tim Tebow is one of the more overrated and obnoxious godbotherers of our time; where does his abysmal record fit into this?

    Tim Tebow’s fans are being tested. They are iron rods in the Forge of God, and the pain they feel at each humiliation Tebow suffers is the very fire necessary to transform them into the Weapons of God, which will be unleashed upon the Unbelievers when the End Times come.

  33. 33
    gerryl

    Tonight on a network news broadcast they reported on this survey. As part of the report they went to a playground and asked a little kid if he thought god decided the winner of the superbowl. You will be glad to know that the little boy responded “No-o-o-o.” (As in, “what a silly question.”)

  34. 34
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    So how come the Saints don’t win every superbowl (or get into the playoffs, for that matter), and the Angels win every world series? God’s a fickle SOB.

  35. 35
    dingojack

    llewelly – god better hope those Tebow fans don’t suddenly decide to form – an iron chariot!!
    If they did, he’d be in big trouble*
    :) Dingo
    ——–
    *(right here in River City)

  36. 36
    www.just4keys.com

    God is a girl….If you need MS keys,please visit http://www.just4keys.com win 8,office 2013.

  37. 37
    anubisprime

    gerryl @ 33

    the little boy responded “No-o-o-o.” (As in, “what a silly question.”)

    Thus shaming to the depths of their being 27% of the rabid brain dead that think they are adult enough to make fuckin’ ridiculous claims concerning other people!

  38. 38
    Childermass

    God, the cosmic cheater.

    Even from a theological point-of-view, this belief is sacrilege and from our point-of-view it is ludicrous.

  39. 39
    jnorris

    God fine tunes some 250 variables in the universe so one team will out score another on any given day.
    The next question for those 27% who so believe: Do you bet real money on your prayers?

  40. 40
    fifthdentist

    Given the history, Cleveland must be the least godly city among those in which there are NFL franchises. They sucked as long as I can remember, then they pack up and move to Maryland in the middle of the night and the newly minted Ravens becamse a league superpower.
    Meanwhile, the new Brows continue to amaze by reaching higher and higher levels of suckiness.

  41. 41
    Ichthyic

    “What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny’? ‘Make yourself at home”‘ ‘Marry my daughter’? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons”.

    He rode a blazing saddle
    He wore a shining star…

  42. 42
    Rip Steakface

    It appears you have a spammer at work @36, Ed.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site