Americans have some fascinating views on God and religion, according to a recent Pew research poll that probed into the religious beliefs of American Christians.
In a survey of more than 4,700 adults, Pew found that Americans are divided not only on believing in God, but also in whether their belief in God means adhering to a particular faith.
"One-third of Americans say they do not believe in the God of the Bible, but that they do believe there is some other higher power or spiritual force in the universe. A slim majority of Americans (56%) say they believe in God "as described in the Bible." And one-in-ten do not believe in any higher power or spiritual force."
Do you believe in God or not?Pew
A further 72 percent of respondents said that while they do believe in a higher power, such as a Universal consciousness or spiritual presence, they don'y necessarily believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible. Forty-eight percent of Americans said God or a higher intelligence has power over their lives, and nearly 80 percent believe they have been protected by God.
But the results get even more complex than that. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they have been directly rewarded by God, and sixty percent think God will judge people for their actions. Nineteen percent said they don't believe in the Biblical God, and 10 percent don't believe in any God at all.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the poll was whether people with no religious affiliation believe in a supreme being.
"Seven-in-ten religiously unaffiliated adults believe in a higher power of some kind, including 17% who say they believe in God as described in the Bible and 53% who believe in some other form of higher power or spiritual force in the universe. Roughly one-quarter of religious "nones" (27%) say they do not believe in a higher power of any kind. But there are stark differences based on how, exactly, members of this group describe their religious identity.
While very few agnostics (3%) say they believe in God as described in the Bible, a clear majority (62%) say they believe in some other kind of spiritual force. Just three-in-ten say there is no higher power in the universe.
Respondents who describe their religion as "nothing in particular" are even more likely to express belief in a deity; nine-in-ten take this position, mirroring the U.S. public overall in this regard. While most people in this "nothing in particular" group believe in a spiritual force other than the biblical God (60%), a sizable minority (28%) say they do believe in God as described in the Bible."