Religion and Public Life Survey, 2010

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > Pew Research Center > Analysis


LITERAL

(Percentages are weighted by WEIGHT; Total Ns reported are unweighted)

ASK IF BELIEVE HOLY BOOK IS WORD OF GOD: And would you say that [holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word, or not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word?
  1) [Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word
  2) Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word
  3) Other (Vol.)
  9) Don't know/Refused (Vol.)

Category Percentage Cumulative Percentage
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 50.7% 50.7%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 44% 94.7%
Other (Vol.) 1.5% 96.2%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.7% 99.9%
Total N = 2049

Variable Comparisons

Age (I-AGE)

18 to 24 years old 25 to 34 years old 35 to 44 years old 45 to 54 years old 55 to 64 years old 65 years and older TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 45.8% 50.2% 47.0% 50.9% 52.3% 55.6% 50.6%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 51.1% 47.4% 47.5% 44.3% 43.5% 35.0% 44.3%
Other (Vol.) 0.8% 0.4% 2.6% 1.6% 1.0% 2.4% 1.6%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 2.3% 1.9% 3.0% 3.1% 3.2% 7.0% 3.6%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2020


Worship attendance (I-ATTEND)

More than once a week Once a week Once or twice a month A few times a year Seldom Never TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 71.1% 54.7% 45.5% 38.0% 38.9% 34.5% 50.8%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 22.9% 41.0% 49.5% 58.1% 57.3% 55.8% 44.3%
Other (Vol.) 2.0% 1.7% 1.9% 0.3% 1.6% 2.0% 1.5%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.9% 2.6% 3.1% 3.5% 2.3% 7.6% 3.3%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2027


Race (I-RACE)

White, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Hispanic Other TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 45.8% 68.0% 60.1% 43.2% 50.7%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 49.3% 27.3% 35.0% 47.2% 44.2%
Other (Vol.) 1.1% 1.9% 2.0% 4.2% 1.5%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.8% 2.7% 2.9% 5.3% 3.6%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2033


Education (I-EDUC)

Less than a high school diploma High school graduate (Grade 12 or GED certificate) Technical, trade, or vocational school after high school or some college College graduate (B.S., B.A., orother 4-year degree) Post-graduate training or professional schooling after college (e.g., toward a Master's degree or Ph.D.; law or medical school) TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 70.8% 54.4% 49.5% 35.9% 32.6% 50.7%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 22.8% 38.9% 46.3% 59.7% 65.8% 44.0%
Other (Vol.) 2.1% 1.2% 2.0% 1.2% 1.1% 1.5%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 4.3% 5.5% 2.2% 3.2% 0.5% 3.7%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2038


Sex (I-SEX)

Male Female TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 49.0% 52.2% 50.7%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 45.7% 42.7% 44.0%
Other (Vol.) 1.8% 1.3% 1.5%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.5% 3.8% 3.7%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0%
2049


Religion (I-RELIGION)

Protestant (Baptist, Methodist, Non-denominational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Reformed, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witness, etc.) Roman Catholic (Catholic) Other Atheist or agnostic Nothing in particular Christian (Vol.) TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 57.8% 37.9% 37.0% 9.8% 42.2% 61.3% 50.8%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 36.8% 57.8% 55.9% 82.0% 52.2% 34.4% 44.1%
Other (Vol.) 1.6% 1.2% 3.0% 0.0% 2.5% 1.0% 1.6%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.8% 3.1% 4.1% 8.2% 3.1% 3.2% 3.5%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2024


Political ideology (I-POLITICS)

Very conservative Conservative Moderate Liberal Very liberal TOTAL
[Holy book] is to be taken literally, word for word 72.1% 53.1% 45.0% 36.0% 66.5% 50.6%
Not everything in [holy book] should be taken literally, word for word 24.6% 42.6% 51.5% 57.5% 32.4% 45.3%
Other (Vol.) 0.0% 1.4% 1.6% 2.6% 1.1% 1.5%
Don't know/Refused (Vol.) 3.3% 2.9% 1.8% 3.9% 0.0% 2.6%
TOTAL 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
1942



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