Thursday, October 30, 2003

I Just Took A Poll 

I just got called by somebody, I think Newsweek, to take a poll. First time that's happened. It was about Bush, and the war. The pollster also asked my about my religion, and about what impact I thought religion had on medical health.

On the subject of the war, they asked a question like this:
"How concerned are you that the US might get bogged down in Iraq for years with little or no progress?"

That seems pretty leading to me. I considered answering in the affirmative (choices were, Very Concerned, Somewhat Concerned or Not At All Concerned) because the way the question is worded, well, sure I'm concerned that it might happen. But then I realized, they're going to spin this as a country that is doubtful about whether we should be there at all. Of course they also asked me that question- should we be pulling our troops out? And naturally I said no. But the headline will be the question that gives them the result they're looking for. And it's not like reading a poll- there's a guy on the phone, and you've got to answer and you don't feel like you can take all night thinking about it. So I made my answer a little more positive than I might have if I hadn't been wary of their motives. Is that lying?

On the subject of religion and health, another interesting thing happened. I don't believe in faith healing, and I believe in praying for people's health, including my own, primarily to teach myself to submit to God's will. God certainly can heal people, and sometimes chooses to heal people through the means of prayers for that person, but I don't pray expecting that to happen. My prayers don't change God's will. My prayers change me.

But again, the questions were phrased in a funny way. I expect I answered the questions approximately the same was as the average audience member at a Benny Hinn show (and yes, I meant to use the word "show"). Have I prayed for people's health? Yes. Does religion have an impact on people's health? Yes. Do I think spiritual or religious matters and medical matters bear on each other? Or do I think religion and medicine should be kept separate? Oh boy, that's all we need- another "wall of separation." Answer- they bear on each other.

Why don't they just say it? Do you think religion has anything to do with anything? Or should it be kept separate from everything? Practiced only secretly at night in the cellar? Don't just pray in the closet- sing your hymns and preach your sermons in there too?

One step at a time- get God out of everything. And anyone who disagrees is a trailer-park-livin', snake-handlin', big-haired televangelist-watchin' moron.

Maybe I'm jumping to conclusions. We'll see when the poll comes out.

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