Here’s your disturbing thought of the day, courtesy of a new YouGov poll: 57% of Americans believe in an actual devil and only slightly less, 51%, think that this devil can “possess” someone. And perhaps most disturbing is that it doesn’t seem to matter all that much what age or political views one has.
A full 50% of those 18-29 believe in the devil, and 55% of Democrats (65% of Republicans). Women are more likely to believe in the devil than men by a 61-53% margin. Education also doesn’t seem to change things much: 51% of those with post-graduate degrees believe in the devil — higher than the 49% of those who dropped out of high school who believe in one. But religion does matter. Only 17% of Jews and 25% of Muslims believe in the devil (though there were only 4 Muslims in the survey, so not exactly a sample) — and 20% of those who say they don’t have a religion.
On the question of whether this devil can possess people, 50% of those 18-29 believe in it. 51% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans. But here only 39% of post-grads believe in possession, considerably lower than the percentage that believe in a devil. Perhaps most bizarre, 26% of those with no religion believe in possession while only 20% believe in the devil that supposedly possesses people.
Another weird aspect is that a much smaller percentage of people think that possession happens frequently or very frequently. If there really is a devil and demons out there to possess people, why would it only be an occasional thing? Do they only do it on special occasions?