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.


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. Mark Faucette

    So, 52% of those polled approve of the job God is doing? Well, that is unquestionably much higher than the rating God gives us doing our job.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • Sybaris

      Ah yes, an inherent feature of a guilt driven dogma, self-deprecation. What an awful way to live.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  2. Barry

    “ Bobinator”, You said: “When the story does not paint a favourable picture of my God, it's a metaphor. If it does, it's clearly a fact.”

    You are mistaken. Consider the following verse of Scripture.

    “When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider this:
    God has made the one
    as well as the other. “
    –Ecclesiastes 7:14

    Needless to say there is no metaphor here.

    The Hebrews and Christians believe that God is responsible for and in control of everything—rain or drought, bounty or famine, sickness or health, earthquake or flood, etc.. We believe he’s in control of everything, down to the last atom.

    And who ever said the story of Job is a metaphor?

    The story of Job was a well known story, which was well known long before Israel incorporated this story into their sacred writings.

    Israel incorporated the well known story of Job into their writings, because Job’s suffering had striking parallels to the suffering they (Israel) endured during the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities.

    Job’s afflictions and suffering were real, as was Israel’s exile.

    That’s what is unique about the Bible. The story of salvation is grounded in history and in time and place.

    Consider the following passage from Luke’s gospel:

    1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
    Augustus and Quirinius were real people, not metaphors. Syria and Rome were real places, not metaphors. Christ’s birth, life and crucifixion were real, not metaphors.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Thomas

      I once saw Abraham Lincoln in an episode of Ren & Stimpy. Does that make Ren and Stimpy real?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Civiloutside

      There's no evidence that such a census took place, nor was it the practice to force people to migrate all over the place in order to participate in those censuses that actually did happen because such travel was a ridiculous imposition in those times. The supposed census is just a narrative device used to shoehorn locations into the narrative after-the-fact because the author thought they needed to be included to make the case for fulfilling a prophecy.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Ben

      Great, Barry, so you agree that your god as presented in the bible is an evil as-shole. You're making progress.Now you just need to understand that your whole religion is a fairy tale. Keep at it.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  3. Voting

    52% approve. 9% disapprove. 39% voted "present".

    July 28, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  4. VoipOfReason

    Since we're discussing the approval ratings of mythical figures, lets also poll the approval ratings of Zeus, Apollo, Prometheus, Kukulcan, Ra, Osiris, MIckey Mouse, Puff the majic dragon, and the teletubbies.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Dude, Prometheus deserves mad props. He taught us to tame fire, and was punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver torn out and eaten by a vulture every day for the rest of eternity. That's right, the Firebringer is suffering *eternal* torment for the sake of improving the human condition, not just a few hours followed by eternal glory. His approval rating should be through the roof!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  5. Marc Perkel

    There's only one true religion and that is the Church of Reality. All other religions are so much fluff.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  6. Jen

    I wonder how much God approves of our performance.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Daoud

      No matter how hard I try I do not care how he approves considering all the evils in the world. Now, do not go blaming man. He created man, he allowed the serpent in Eden and, being he is God, I am sure he knew full well the outcome and never raised a hand to prevent it. Now we are in this sadistic tests where kids suffer horrible diseases, people lose whole families by war and "acts of God (i.e., earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.)...and this is all to test our wills. Sounds like very selfish dysfunctional individual who probably suffered a terrible childhood (perhaps a test of his own will).

      July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  7. Xasthur

    Also about half of Americans believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago and is the same today as it was then. 75% believe in miracles and 1/3 claim they are born again Christians.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Sybaris

      ........and those same people say that Islam is the real threat?

      Willful ignorance is the greatest threat of all.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  8. Daoud

    @Kdog...Why don't you just address Zeke's question. It's funny how Christians when confronted by very justified questions such as Zeke's, Christians either do not reply (because they cannot) or address the question w/a question. I would not be at all surprised if such questions when viewed by Christians raise questions hidden in the deep recesses of their minds that they attach guilt to and never address for theirselves fearing their loving God's eternal lake of fire.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • herbert juarez

      who is zeke and what was his question?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  9. Michael

    Maybe 48% of Americans have asked God to back off?

    July 28, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  10. Alyssa

    And why are they kicking off a NASCAR event with prayers anyway? I haven't heard of this in any other sport. When did racing cars become a religious domain?

    July 28, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Sybaris

      Apparently you haven't seen the new NASCAR sanctioned bumper stickers, "Turn Left For God"

      July 28, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  11. JiminTX

    So an invisible, omnipotent, omnipresent, sky being only gets it right slightly more than half the time?

    July 28, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  12. Apotropoxy

    What rating did the deity get for creating Satan?

    July 28, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Bonnie

      Lucifer corrupted himself. Don't blame others for your own evil. Say sorry and fix yourself. If not, get ready for imprisonment. .

      July 28, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Sybaris

      Bonnie, your omniscient god would have known that yet he did it anyway. THAT is the epitomy of stupidity.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Ben

      Bonnie is the epitomy of stupidity.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  13. Reality

    Speaking on behalf of the "48%ers":

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    I might believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven.

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.


    July 28, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Joshua

      Nice for satire, but historically incorrect. This only gets a 52% approval rating for those that believe it.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Reality

      A Historical Update on the Major Religions:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 (Time Magazine)

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      July 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  14. Bonnie

    No one approves Americans in this universe.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  15. hs

    Is this for God? Or Obama? Not sure the difference from what the media feeds us.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • CW

      [Citation Needed]

      July 28, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  16. Jorge

    What a bunch of boneheads. Assuming that there is a God of YOUR preference to weigh in on, what contribution did you make in task of Creation? How much do you know about geothermal balance, ocean currents and weather equilibrium, the effect of the moon and tides as a vibration damper against earthquake propagation, survival and evolution of species and the way these things are all tied together? Don't like it? Show me your counterproposal. Stop blaming God for stuff that, in out ever present self-centrism, we perpetrate on ourselves.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:55 am |
    • brad

      Well said, Jorge. I for one disapprove of the performance of evolution. Lower species struggle to survive against outside influences. Mankind struggles not to turn his discoveries against himself. Evolution has produced the freak we know as mankind.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  17. askduane

    Jehovah God our Creator has given mankind enough time to prove if man can run this earth on their own and not ruin the earth or mankind in the process. The condition of the earth and mankind's health has been ruined, it's time for God to step in and save mankind from mankind. God has proven man is ruining the earth.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:38 am |
    • Tunde

      to askduane
      The best answer and the most reasonable one too . Its sad that most people blame God for everything as I used to do myself until I started studying the Bible and finding out the reasons why our world is in the shape its in and how God has a purpose which will soon be revealed and to my surprise I also found out in my Bible that God has a personal name "Jehovah" I believe Jehovah God has done an amazing job and will show us more of it in the near future 🙂

      July 28, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Sybaris

      Why would your god make it a test?

      Guess you missed the part in Sunday School where they talked about your gods omniscience

      July 28, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  18. Jorge

    When God made man, he soon discovered that loyalty and good deeds were not his strong points.
    In recognition of the S.O.B. nature of man, God gave him a series of recommendations and rules, so that man would not self-destruct.
    Man, confirming what God had recognized about him at the start, turned them into religion and politics...

    July 28, 2011 at 8:33 am |
  19. Slumberjack

    Looks like my comments are now being censored. I had wondered how long it would take

    July 28, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Jared

      It would seem mine are too.

      July 28, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • tallulah13

      You probably used a combination of letters that formed a word that the automated system that watches these comments found offensive. Words like consti-tution or circ-umstance have to be split (you will notice the three letter combination around the dashes). Somebody usually puts a list of these words in the comments of every board. Perhaps they will do so here. There seems to be no human presence censoring these boards.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  20. Bonnie

    Americans became shallow and meaningless by caring about popularity rather than principles. What is popular among Americans is too often detestable in God's sight.

    July 28, 2011 at 8:22 am |
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About this blog

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.