Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our Make Believe Defines Our Reality, Religious/Mystical Experiences, and a Question

I have a question. Are you one of the 49% mentioned below? If so, why?

6% of Americans believe the Apollo moon landings were faked (Newport, 1999).
20% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth (Dean, 2005).
23% of self identified republicans believe their state should secede from the union.
24% of self identified republicans believe Obama "wants the terrorists to win" (Daily Kos, 2010).
24% of Americans believe in reincarnation.
25% of Americans believe in Astrology (Pew, 2009).
37% of Americans believe the sun will burn out at some point in the future.
40% of Americans believe in lucky numbers (Lightman & Miller, 1989).
44% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form sometime within the last 10,000 years (Gallup, 2008).
49% of Americans say they have had a religious or mystical experience defined as "a moment of sudden religious insight or awakening" (Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2009).
100% of Benjamin Wheeler Ady IIIs believe that their Megan is madly in love with them (Ady, 2010).

Ady, B. W. (2010). Our make believe defines our reality, religious/mystical
experiences, and a question. Upside Down Under. Retrieved from
Daily Kos. (2010). Daily kos/research 2000 poll. Daily Kos. Retrieved from
Dean, C. (2005, August 30). Scientific savvy? In U.S., not much. The New York
Times. Retrieved from
Gallup. (2008). Origin of Human Life. Gallup. Retrieved from
Lightman, A. P., & Miller, J. D. (1989). Contemporary cosmological beliefs.
Social Studies of Science, 19(1), 127-136. Retrieved from
Newport, F. (1999). Landing a man on the moon: The public's view. Gallup
News Service. Retrieved from
Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life. (2009). Eastern, new age beliefs
widespread: Many Americans mix multiple faiths. Retreived from


  1. Alas. All my beautiful APA formatting was lost. Ah well.

  2. minus the 'sudden' and the 'moment', yes, I am thankful to have had such experiences as the 49% herementioned...

    my initial response was 'i'm not an AMERICAN"! and then i remembered - i AM!

  3. this is megs, signed in as benjamin!

  4. Blogspot = messed up/absent formatting. And the new post editor thingy only messes it up in new, creative ways.

  5. But in answer to your question:
    --I'm not (American)
    --I have had. Several.

  6. Those numbers are scary (until the last two).

  7. Al,

    tell me about them. Or at least one of them.

  8. a religious or mystical experience defined as "a moment of sudden religious insight or awakening"

    For me, this isn't a 'Saul of Tarsus' visitation a la Acts 9:3.

    It's more the light bulb going off in my mind, the awareness inside that instead of "A" being true, "B" is.

    I guess these moments aren't instantaneous, but because they involve a rather abrupt change in direction, they are sudden.

    Like when I stopped believing that my church was more right than any other church, that I should and can have great fellowship with people from quite diverse denominations.

    Or when I came to the realization that living the good news is better than just talking it. That loving people, accepting them whoever they might be is the heart of the gospel, not preaching 'turn or burn'.

    Or when I realized that I could learn things about accepting people from a 'sinner'. (A guy who taught me more about the broadness of God's grace and acceptance than I had ever learned in church).

    One that is still being birthed is thoughts about the wideness and completeness of the grace of God. How it affects us, reaches us, redeems us, even if we don't admit to believing in it. This is still an ongoing awakening, not yet fully grasped or understood.

    These haven't happened to me as blinding flashes of light bringing me to my knees in a literal sense, but have effectively done so in a figurative sense. So I would call them moments of divine awakening or insight. I know they required more than just my own understanding to bring them about.

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