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Survey: More Americans plan to pray than party for New Year's
December 31st, 2010
04:32 PM ET

Survey: More Americans plan to pray than party for New Year's

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

More Americans plan to pray than party Friday as they mark New Year's Eve, according to a recent survey.

Washington Post On Faith flags a Rasmussen Reports survey released Tuesday that found 42% of Americans will ring in 2011 with a drink, while just 21% plan to attend a New Year's Eve party.

But most Americans - 66% - said they will say a prayer on New Year's.

Twenty-five percent of adults say they will not pray before midnight. (Might this bunch comprise many of the revelers?)

A Rasmussen survey last year reported a similar breakdown in New Year's Eve plans.

The survey of 1,000 adults from across the country was conducted from December 26 to 27 by Rasmussen Reports.

The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence, according to the pollster.

While we're on the subject, what are your New Year's Eve plans?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Faith Now • Polls • Prayer

soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Samyuktha

    Hey Ben Congrats,I was just getting ready to give you this info.I thuhgot you could check with them.We do some business with them now and this guy is super nice.Steve Wood540 Indian Boundary RoadChesterton, IN 46304voice (219) 926-2124fax (219) 395-8968

    September 7, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  2. A simple sheep

    Who takes the time to go to a belief blog about christians and absh them, these guys. God still luvs ya!

    January 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  3. Gary

    I am going to go do a 14 mile mountain bike ride and enjoy nature. I suggest my religious friends take their noses out of their religious texts and do the same. Nature is beautiful.

    January 2, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Matthew

      I am going to have a family gathering on New Year's eve. I suggest to all my atheist friends to come join us for our prayers. Everything God gave us is beatiful, so it's worth praying to Him to offer thanks and to ask for guidance throughout the next year. Unless you still believe that dumb idea of the big bang that has poisened your mind, I would still ask you to come.
      God is amazing.

      January 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  4. IntegralReality

    Pray, or drink and engage in revelry... either way, nothing gets accomplished.

    January 2, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  5. kryg

    Many Christians, especially mainline Christians (Catholics and members of the bigger Prot Churches), will pray but then also dine and moderately drink. There is nothing wrong for Christians, especially for Catholics to pray and party as long as one does the partying in a non-sinful way =).

    January 2, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  6. RightTurnClyde

    American is comfortable and well fed. So many posters on this board denounce prayer. If you are ON this board you HAVE a computer and you are literate enough to type and communicate in writing. That puts you in the top 2% of the 7 billion people on earth (and yet you see no reason to be grateful for THAT). Others made your education possible. Others designed and programmed your computer. Others created the CNN new and board you are posting to... still others who have a PC and education will read your post and respond to it. Still you see no reason to be grateful. Now it you are ever uncomfortable you will pray. The people the airliners during 9/11 prayed. Most soldiers have prayed a lot. The police pray for victims of violence as they administer first aid and transport. Doctors and nurses pray as well. Mothers and fathers pray constantly. People trying to find lost relatives pray. Some have never found relatives lost in WWII or Korea or Vietnam. People whose sons and daughters are serving in the military pray; spouses pray; commanding officers pray. People whose relatives are in a coma pray. Not everybody is comfortable and so certain of their well being as the ones posting trivial curses here.

    January 2, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • MarkinFL

      I guess if the prayer provides a certain level of comfort then it does have some value to those people. Other than personal comfort I've seen no causal connection between prayer and actual events in the real world.

      January 3, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • RightTurnClyde

      To MarkinFL .. there is no "causal connection" because cause-effect is a Greco-Roman concept related to being (the Prime Mover, Causa Prima, the Omega, etc.) Other modes of though might predicate adaptiveness over causation (becoming). Prayer did not stop Hitler or close any camps (and no doubt millions of prayers were said). Prayer does not change the physical realm (plague, war, weather, eruptions, quakes, hardships that come of those things). Prayer is spiritual. It can change the spiritual reality and can be answered in the spiritual reality of almost everything.

      January 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  7. TheRationale

    I'm pretty sure about 85% of Americans has their BS radar going crazy as they read this.

    January 2, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  8. Muneef

    We have learnt from birds and animals many things of science? So haven't we asked our selves why night flying insects are attracted to the light? Or maybe should ask our selves why were ancient nations worshiping the Sun the Moon the Stars the Fire?? They knew they should be looking for the light but have become stray time after time and after every messenger from the Right Straight Path which was taught to Adam and down to all Prophets and Messengers of God. 
    We in the Quran were told that God Allah has taught Adam all his names meaning the Knowldge and the Holy Message for Mankind to live with it on earth which only proves that there was a spoken language in which Adam listened from God and from Satan misleading him to eat a fruit of the forbidden tree and when talked to Eve? Teaching all that meant there were some writings done?
    In such case then there might have been scriptures from such length of time that had been changing hands as father to son and from hand to hand?
    There are verses of the Quran where God Allah mentioned teaching to Adam all names and then teaching to the prophets&messengers through people of knowldge and the Holy Spirit..

    Al-Baqara sura02:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels and said: "Tell Me the names of these if ye are right." (31) They said: "Glory to Thee: of knowledge we have none, save that Thou hast taught us: in truth it is Thou who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom." (32) He said: "O Adam! tell them their names." When he had told them their names, Allah said: "Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?" (33).

    Al-Alaq sura 96:
    Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created― (1) Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: (2) Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful― (3) He Who taught (the use of) the Pen― (4) Taught man that which he knew not. (5).

    January 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • pastafarian

      Actually scientist have studied phototaxis quite extensively in a variety of species. Interestingly enough, there are quite a few positive phototactic insects that would rather hover around an artificial light source even when a natural light source becomes available. Hmm... but maybe you meant to make a parable here, about insects attracted to and infatuated by the artificial light of a god(s)/goddess(es) instead of the light of truth about the natural world that is learned through science.

      January 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      Yes friend I meant night insects attracted to artificial strong street lamp lights....guess now clear I hope?

      January 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Bhagabata

      I was very disappointed. I had tried to tune in about 5 mentuis till 7, and I waited and waited for my computer to load it, but it never was able. Is there any chance you recorded the vespers and could post it as one of your videos, or just the sound if there's that. Thanks.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  9. pastafarian

    I have been touched by HIS noodly appendage this New Years... R'amen

    January 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • TheRationale

      All glory to his high Noodleyness for bringing us another lovely new year. R'amen.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • MarkinFL

      All hail the FSM!!!!!!

      January 3, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  10. Not Anymore I Don't

    I used to pray.
    I used to pray a LOT.
    I prayed and prayed.
    I prayed all the time, and I didn't see anything change.
    One day I got off my knees,
    And I got on my feet.
    I walked.
    I walked to the Soup Kitchen a few blocks from my house.
    I walked to the Mission across the street.
    I walked into my alley.
    I served hungry people at the Soup Kitchen.
    I gave some clothes and shoes and money and some household items, at the Mission.
    I met my neighbor in the alley, and found that she needed my help and my friendship.
    My prayers alone amounted to NOTHING.
    My ACTIONS amounted to:
    A full tummy
    A new start for someone
    A new friend and helping hands for the old lady who lived two doors down from me; the whole time I was on my knees I never met her before.
    I don't pray any more.
    But I don't pray any less, either.

    January 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Gary

      Good point. I take action ...I take personal responsiblity. I get things done. I do meditate for relaxation. People who sit around pray and do nothing are weak,lazy,scared individuals.

      January 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.