2/3 of Americans Think America is God’s Special Snowflake

A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute contains the disturbing news that about two-thirds of Americans think that the United States has been specially favored by God. Even more disturbing, 69% think you can’t be “truly American” if you don’t believe in God.

A PRRI survey released Tuesday (June 23) finds that 2 out of 3 Americans (66 percent) say God has granted America an exceptional role in human history. Not surprisingly, since the question presupposes a God, only 39 percent of people who don’t identify with any particular religion (the so-called “nones”) agree with that statement.

Still, “American exceptionalism is a deep and abiding belief that’s fundamental to the American DNA,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI research director.

So Americans, by a huge margin, are proudly ignorant and narcissistic (how else could we describe the idea that God favors them specifically but narcissism?). This can’t possibly be a surprise to anyone raised in this country.

This dovetails with a very narrow vision of who is “truly American.” High on the list of very or somewhat important characteristics are people who:

Speak English: 89 percent say this is very or somewhat important.

Believe in God: 69 percent.

Were born in the U.S.: 58 percent.

Are Christian: 53 percent.

The survey found “profound generational differences” on the image of what constitutes a true American, said Cox.

Most seniors (66 percent) said to be “truly American” it was important to be Christian — perhaps recalling a culture that is slipping away, he said. But only 35 percent of millennials agreed.

And people think that when we talk about atheists being treated as second class citizens, that’s just a rhetorical flourish. It isn’t. A huge majority of our fellow citizens don’t think we’re “truly American” if we don’t believe in God, for crying out loud.

"You also forgot that you can't gallop a horse within 10 miles of walls of ..."

USCIRF Releases Report on Blasphemy Laws
"Here's my award for Looniest Leftist story of the day:https://www.outkickthecoverage.com/msespn-pulls-asian-announcer-named-robert-lee-off-uva-game-avoid-offending-idiots/"

Republicans Refuse to Defend Trump on ..."
"Well, he outed himself by going to the rally in the first place; the other ..."

White Supremacists Cancel Book Burning in ..."
"I'm local to this. I don't have anything close to conflicted feelings about his outing. ..."

White Supremacists Cancel Book Burning in ..."
Follow Us!
POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    Kinda puts paid to the notion that the US of A is becoming less religious. Looks like many of those marking “none” are still xtian in some fashion, just not in the ways used in the polls.

  • abb3w

    Being born in the US clearly seems at least somewhat important — in that jus soli grants American citizenship. Contrariwise, it’s neither necessary nor sufficient (as such grant may be renounced in adulthood).

    Nohow, a comment on this elsewhere leaves me wondering what might turn up if you asked people what it meant to be “truly American” — and perhaps then asked them what they meant by “truly”.

  • StevoR

    Sorry, Australia is really gods land -even if snow usually melts there!

    Becoz, well, uh just becoz ya see!

  • StevoR

    Also, hey, I never said which god!

  • StevoR

    (s)

  • abb3w

    eoraptor

    Kinda puts paid to the notion that the US of A is becoming less religious.

    No, it doesn’t; particularly as the report indicates percentages are lower among younger demographics. (Being “less” does not require being “the less common”.)

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    @ StevoR (#3) “Sorry, Australia is really gods land”

    Doesn’t 99% of everything in Australia try to kill you?

    Wait, that just supports your claim, since God is a dick.

  • busterggi

    Is that 2/3d’s Union Americans or Confederate Americans?

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    “2 out of 3 Americans (66 percent) say God has granted America an exceptional role in human history”

    I find this hard to believe, as an Englishman, I doubt God would ever do such a thing.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    God the Father loves America so much, the rest of the trinity calls the US Yoko.

  • Synfandel

    @7 theschwa: “Doesn’t 99% of everything in Australia try to kill you?”

    At least it’s not the cops.

  • Electric Shaman

    @11 Synfandel: “At least it’s not the cops”

    Try telling that to an Aboriginal person.

  • https://plus.google.com/101060696320014364594 Darren VanDusen

    Then I guess I’m not a real american. I guess I should just go off the grid and and join one of those separation movements in the mountains. But I don’t think they’ll accept me since I’m not a real american. I’m screwed. Thanks a lot Bin Laden

  • grumpyoldfart

    Next thing you’ll be like the extremely religious ISIS group; invading other countries and torturing prisoners.

  • Abby Normal

    I don’t know how much I trust the “truly American” results. It looked like they started by asking about a “typical American,” which would likely prime the respondents.

  • peterh

    “Public Religion Research Institute”

    Falls down right there.

  • Robert B.

    Not surprisingly, since the question presupposes a God, only 39 percent of people who don’t identify with any particular religion (the so-called “nones”) agree with that statement.

    Actually, that’s the part that does surprise me. Forty percent of the people who ditch organized religion still think they live in God’s favored country?

    I guess the religion serves the politics, rather than the other way around…

  • llewelly

    Actually, that’s the part that does surprise me. Forty percent of the people who ditch organized religion still think they live in God’s favored country?

    This should not be a surprise. It’s consistent with other polls which show the composition of the religious nones .

    The pew poll shows 69% of nones do not identify as either atheist or agnostic, and 30% say religion is important to them.

  • Robert B.

    … not sure that helps, llewelly. Not to get all Josh Lyman on you, but doesn’t that mean that at least ten percent of American nones don’t think religion is important to them, but do think their country has a holy destiny? If they don’t much care about church, how is this idea getting to them? If it’s not sermons, it must be stump speeches. Or the early news.

  • jaybee

    No, this totally makes sense. All powerful, all loving, fair and merciful God chose an obscure group of people, the Israelites, and granted them special status,. That is just a given. Sure, they kept fucking up the arrangement so God had to rough them up a bit, but that just proves how much he loves them, just like battered wife syndrome.

    It is also a well known fact that the US is run by a powerful but secret cabal of Jews. Therefore God grants his blessing on the vacation home of the Jews (ie, the US), making us special too.

    It is hard to believe it is just a coincidence that all the puzzle pieces fit together like that by chance.

  • http://lykex.livejournal.com LykeX

    If they don’t much care about church, how is this idea getting to them?

    Possibly they reject “religion” in favor of “spirituality”. Some people make such a distinction, so they call themselves non-religious, even though they accept many commonly held religious ideas.

  • benedic

    All tribes, since we have written history, were said to have their own Gods -one of whom was often the boss. The North Americans are just not so exceptional. Anway their true God is Mammon, only they don’t say so.

  • throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Call that God Allah, though, and you’d see completely different numbers.

  • Doug Little

    Just passed my naturalization interview yesterday and will be a bonafide American on July 13th when I get sworn in. The only thing on the list that the American government cares about is being able to speak, read and write English.