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Poll: 52 percent approve of God’s job performance
July 27th, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Poll: 52 percent approve of God’s job performance

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - If you think voters are in cranky mood over politics, a new poll suggests that some of the dissatisfaction may run deeper.

God’s job performance has trouble measuring up to many Americans' expectations, according to a poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm based in North Carolina.

Only 52 percent of Americans approve of God’s job performance, the survey found, though just 9 percent disapprove.

The polling question that prompted this curious response was, "If God exists, do you approve or disapprove of its performance?"

"When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5," the polling report said. "They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13."

Dino Grandoni cited the poll in a blog for the  Atlantic Wire:

On the bright side for the Almighty's re-election chances, God is still more popular than House Speaker John Boehner and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, all of whom polled at 33 percent in the same poll.

(snip)

Believers or not, it seems ridiculous for the public to categorically grade God like this, until you realize that it's pollsters who asked the questions in the first place

Public Policy Polling used automated telephone interviews to survey 928 American voters from July 15 to 17. The voters were represented by a mix of liberal, moderate and conservative voters. The poll's margin of error  was +/-3.2%.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Faith • God • Polls • Uncategorized

soundoff (2,575 Responses)
  1. God

    To answer life's questions: Yes, a tree does make a sound if it falls in the forest and no one is around. Tim Tebow is gay. And masturbating won't make you go blind.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Capercorn

      So, I'm to take this that subjective idealism is therefore false? What about mathematical monism?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • God

      We don't have google here in heaven, so I can look those words up. But.. advice for the future: Sit down when you pee, and O.J. was guilty.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Capercorn

      So, does that mean that mathematics truly is the language of God?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  2. Bill

    I love it when bitter atheists posit that there is no God because they don't have everything they want. Kind of making *yourself* an all-knowing being then, huh? It's kind of like saying that because there is crime, there must be no such thing as policemen.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Please, keep the ad hominems to a minimum.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Capercorn

      Bill, keep the trolling at levels OVER 9000.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • helloeyes

      The first premise is ridiculous – therefore your argument has no merit. Try to put it in more logical terms.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Deus Capite

      I have everything I want and I have to thank my parents and other people who have helped me along the way. Praise to people, not to some invisible being.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      ...more of a straw man argument, I think.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  3. Rob M

    People thinking God is doing a bad job, in my opinion means that they need to do something better with their own lives.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Relieving themselves of mythical supernatural beings would be a good start.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Exactly. Time to pray for this world.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  4. kelvoir

    Who told you, that God gives you things for no effort at all? Who told you that, if there were a God, there would be no illness or hardship at all? Have you ever stopped to think that, God doesn't have to be 100% good and righteous? What if God is just a word, used to describe how existence is even possible?

    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  5. elgeevz

    What I've never quite understood is what happens to the myriad of people all over the world who lived and died without ever having heard of YHWH. Do they all burn in hell?

    July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • 4mercy

      I think the Christian belief is that all will be judged in the next life based on their education about God's message to man in this life. For example, a native of the jungles of South America who has never been exposed to any religion would not be judged on the same standard as someone who was raised Catholic (and presumably was taught something about Jesus and salvation) and decided to leave the church and become an atheist.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  6. Capercorn

    John Blake wins 9001 Trolling XP! LEVEL UP!

    July 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  7. bobb Billy

    Big Boys have Toys.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  8. Fred

    This is a perfect example of how utterly ridiculous this society is. Why is any organization – CNN or the polling organization – wasting resources on this sort of useless drivel? We have very serious, very real issues to deal with. What's next? A poll to determine Santa's job approval rating??

    July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • 4mercy

      I agree. We should be using our time to pray for God's help – not try to judge His performance.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Madtown

      Harry Potter's approval rating is likely at an all-time high right about now. I wonder where that poll is?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Agreed.
      And yet there is still a Belief Blog isn't there, and Churches, and ...

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • helloeyes

      And up next.......we'll be doing surveys to judge the performance rating of archangels according to their job descriptions.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  9. God

    Sam, I think the word you are looking for is Oral Superiority

    July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Ellen

    I give You 100% approval rating, Lord. Thank you for all good things you bestow upon myself and my family.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • AZdoc

      Boy, that was a close one. If you had given him only 99%, a thunderbolt would have been on it's way to you. Ridiculous.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      God bless you and your family while children are beaten, r a p e d and murdered when he is taking care of you. God bless you while he answers one of your prayers, someone is torn to sh reds. Bless him while he was in your life revealing himself when the tor nado struck and through that infant through the air te aring it to shreds recently. God bless you when your child says something and you think god is really there at that moment while an old person is being eaten alive from cancer far away. Yes god is great and real and you and your family are so special.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      "through" meant threw....need more coffee

      July 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dennis

      I agree Ellen. God is perfect, and I love him.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • David, CA

      Taking all of human history into account, diseases, death, famine, starvation, plagues, natural disasters, freak accidents, no proof of any afterlife at all (we're supposed to take that all on faith), the abysmal way God's followers are "allowed" behave "in his name" I'd have guessed God's approval ratings to be a LOT lower. I'd have at least thought he'd be brought up on charges of genocide and mass murder.

      But hey- your family won in the sheer luck category so no one else matters right? Long as you're warm and happy the h311 with the rest of humanity.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • helloeyes

      100% ??? Wow your life must be just PERFECT !! Meanwhile, in the ghettos and on poverty lane God's approval ratings have hit an all-time low.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • 4mercy

      @ anti Christian – you need to do some reading regarding what Pope John Paul II discussed about human suffering. It is not in vain. Our suffering exists as a means of reparation for our disobedience to God....for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Thank you to those who suffer with cancer (like my mother – who offers her suffering up to God daily) and disease, and poverty, and humiliation...for the sake of those who are most in need of God's mercy (those who do not acknowledge him at all.)

      July 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Dan

      Ellen, I'm with you. My life isn't perfect, but is anyones? As for some of the others... notice they don't talk at all about their own lives, just others who they think must not like their own lives. Someone lives in the ghetto makes them have a bad life? Therein lies peoples' greatest misunderstanding. Life isn't about things being perfect for us, it is about us making things better for others. When we do that, our life becomes very good indeed. For those who are suggesting otherwise, spend sometime feeding the hungry, or helping the less fortunate, just for a little while... then come back and tell me two things... there is no God, and life isn't better for you. I challenge anyone to take those simple steps. Life is definitely good... and God is doing well. It's us who are falling short as his tools.

      July 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  11. George_W_Dufus

    As long as God doesn't have to answer to a republican congress I approve.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • 4mercy

      But ALL of congress will eventually answer to Him.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  12. David

    Someone said earlier than "God has a plan". If so, they why bother praying? Are you influencing God? Does your prayer change his plan? If you didn't pray, wouldn't God's plan be fulfilled anyway? This is just as unbelievable as when Moses convinced God not to wipe everyone out, but to give them a second chance. How does a mere human tell God he's wrong?

    July 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Frank

      'God has a plan'

      'The Cylons have a plan'

      The Cylons are God!

      July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • David, CA

      Some idiot said this to me after my brother was killed in a freak accident. I asked, so you mean it was God's intention to murder my brother in front of his wife and children? They had no answer.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Humans do not tell God he is wrong, although we try all the time by praying for our own wishes. I believe all is according to his plan, even the tragedies in life....not that God 'causes' such things – no, but the natural laws which he has created may allow various things to happen. We cannot guess about why 'it appears to us' He intervenes at some times and not at others. Some day, I'm sure you'll be able to ask Him. I do think that God experiences all time as his "present"....he experiences all the prayers of the past and all the prayers of the future at the same time and he applies them appropriately to those in need, but that does not always mean that things will turn out as we wish. It's only in hindsight, often when you begin to look back over years of prayers that you may actually see the path of events which reveal God's hand at work in one's life. Do not stop praying. Perhaps someone's prayers will save you some day.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • i wonder

      4mercy,

      And keep wishing upon that star... you never know if that will help either. Oh yes, and also knock on wood, cross your fingers, and hang a horseshoe over your door.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jen

      If your prayer is answered, it demonstrates the power of prayer and God's greatness. If your prayer is denied, it demonstrates that God has a plan and it's all for the best anyway. Apparently even if it's a baby dying a painful and horrible death from a severe birth defect or disease. All part of the master plan paving the way to paradise over the bodies of the innocent.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • 4mercy

      For those who I know believe that God has answered prayers, it is often in a way quite different from their prayer. So, you don't believe in prayer. Have you ever tried it? A lot has been written in explanation for the suffering of mankind and the role it plays in reparation for our sinful lives here on earth. Can you even conceive of that?...That God could use the horrible suffering of one being to relieve the suffering of another – perhaps here on earth – perhaps eternal suffering. I may be wrong. I trust my heart – you are free to trust yours. Someday, we'll all have the answers and know for sure.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Jen

      4mercy,

      Know what the most rational, logical answer is to the question of "why 'it appears to us' He intervenes at some times and not at others"?

      Because God either ISN'T LOVING, ISN'T JUST, ISN'T ALL-POWERFUL, or DOESN'T EXIST. There is no other explanation for how a supposedly omnipotent being would allow an innocent child to be tortured and killed while a mother prays desperately for his safe return, while another mother gets her prayer anwered for her child to be accepted at an elite private school. There is NO love or justice in that, and the mangled bodies of the innocent could NEVER justify any sort of "perfect plan" that God might have for us.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jen

      "Can you even conceive of that?...That God could use the horrible suffering of one being to relieve the suffering of another – perhaps here on earth – perhaps eternal suffering."

      If a loving God routinely "uses" the horrible suffering of a child to ease someone else's suffering instead of, oh I don't know, using his UNLIMITED POWERS to simply STOP the suffering, then the answer is NO, as a loving parent, I CANNOT conceive of that.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • Jen

      I mean think about it. If you had a baby daughter who was born with a fatal heart defect and YOU had the power to snap your fingers and give her a new one (or heck, to make sure she was born with a fully functioning one in the first place), would you elect instead to kill her older sister who's a perfect match so you could use her heart? Use someone else's suffering to save a life when you could have saved it yourself?

      If God is so perfect, I'm thinking he could come up with a "plan" that doesn't include little children dying unnecessary, miserable deaths.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • 4mercy

      God used a man named Jesus, his own child, as a means to save all mankind from eternal suffering through Jesus' own physical suffering. You can choose to believe it or not. I can't speak for what I'd do if I was God, because I'm not and can't even conceive of things as he does. First of all, children are the most innocent of all of us...they have been less tainted by sin than anyone else – their souls are more pure...so, sure, if their purity could save the souls of others in a grand view of things, wouldn't you take one very pure soul to save someone rather than taking 50 very sinful souls to save the same one person???? I obviously have no idea if that's true or not – but it does make some sense to me. I do believe there is a purpose for suffering and the trials that we face in life. I think we have to do a lot of praying about it and reading and discernment what path we should choose in life – and trust in God that if our heart is open to him, he will guide us to the perfect fate for us.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • i wonder

      4mercy,

      I prayed devoutly for over 40 years. I have not prayed for 20 years. The joys and sadnesses, successes and failures, good and bad of all kinds in my life and in the lives of those near and dear to me has remained consistent.

      Prayer gives you the *feeling* of power and control over otherwise uncontrollable situations. I know that it gives you comfort, and I do feel sort of like an ogre for throwing a wet blanket on your fantasy.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • 4mercy

      Have you ever seen the movie "Conversations with God"...written about a man who was once homeless, I think it's a true story. I think it includes a story about a woman who prayed for her son to meet someone from his life on a certain day...maybe he was adopted and she was praying that he would meet his biological mother or something like that, I can't remember. But the son ends up being killed – maybe in a car accident or something on that very day. But, the main character in the film who is on a spiritual journey discerns and explains to another character that the original prayer had been answered...the son met the biological mother (or whomever) on the specific day requested in the prayer. It turned out the person whom he was to meet was already dead and the only way for the prayer to be answered was for him to pass on as well. It's a very moving story in the film. I apologize if I have the details wrong..but the point is – sometimes we cannot even conceive of how God receives our prayers and answers them according to his plan for everyone.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • 4mercy

      You're not throwing any kind of wet blanket on any sort of fantasy...I don't consider God a fantasy at all. I cannot prove he exists, but I can see things in life which seem to provide some evidence that He is out there and he is aware of what goes on in our lives....sometimes it is in very small ways – things which you may not even attribute to God. But I do. I struggle with believing sometimes, but I know what has happened in my own life and there are things that I cannot explain but for a divine intervention. You're free to believe whatever you want.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • i wonder

      4mercy,

      Thank you... I wish you well. Just try your best to do no harm.

      July 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  13. Stephen Falk

    Cnn Have really truly lost their mind..

    July 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  14. Ryan

    I assumed this article was about Obama.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  15. Hugh Mann

    what is free will? i guess its god telling us how to act so we can then critique his performance and take no responsibility for our individual actions as displayed in this poll. in that case i guess god could do a better job of telling the 6.7 billion humans on this planet how to properly interact

    July 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  16. George_W_Dufus

    God created internet p orn and viagra.

    How can I possible disapprove!

    July 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • shlotonos

      you are an idiot.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Al Bore

      Inconveniently... he also created the need for both.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      You are a genius.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • 4mercy

      It's your choice – better think about which is the right one.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  17. Spirit rules

    God can handle these polls numbers – S/He is use to ignorance and the blame game.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Sybaris

      .....and you know this how?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • David, CA

      S/He hasn't been doing a thing. Who cares about poll numbers when you're asleep at the wheel.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  18. christine Cordaro

    This is so ridiculous. Americans are so fatuous and gullible-believing in God is like believing in the "tooth fairy"

    July 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  19. helloeyes

    This cracks me up! If God indeed exists, who are we to approve or disapprove of his or her "job." What could we possibly comprehend about the workings of a creator being? We, in our tiny minds, have no idea what that would be like or how to communicate with such a being. I would assume, that only a fellow creator being could communicate with another creator being.. but humans are so full of self-importance that they believe, as the Eagles sang, that God precides over football games. I would think a creator being has a much bigger job than concentrating on us.... but us humans don't want to believe that we are not the center of God's universe.. and that it's all about us.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Easy there. Just think of it as a comment card or a focus group.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Capercorn

      What also cracks me up is that people try to make claims either way, and then call those who disagree with them stupid.

      You used the operative word "if." That means you don't make positive claims without evidence either way. I like you. You seem rational.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • PDX_Atheist

      @Capercorn There is no "IF", god does not exist period. Sorry if that seems irrational, but to me even proposing that there is the slightest possibility of god existing seems irrational.

      July 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • helloeyes

      Capercorn – I say "if" because I am humble enough to admit that I know nothing, and that my mind could not comprehend the workings of God or this Universe. While I do not hold beliefs about supernatural beings and I do believe that most people who do are operating on irrational claims, I have a hard time closing down to the possibilities because, like I said, I know nothing. I call myself an atheist, but I guess this makes me an agnostic?

      July 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  20. AZdoc

    Don't know about God, but the Easter Bunny and Santa have definitely been falling down on the job lately.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:25 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.