13 percent decrease in support for the Patriot Act
45 percent increase in support for abolishing the death penalty
22 percent decrease in seeing religion and science as incompatible
35 percent increase in agreement that people should “actively seek social and economic justice in order to be a good person”
The survey suggests that Bible readers are not as they are usually stereotyped by the media. So why does this happen? Here is what the article suggest.
Why does this happen? One possible explanation is that readers tend to have expectations of a text prior to reading it. Given the Bible's prominence in our society, it's little wonder that many people think they know what's in it before they open it up. But once they start reading it on their own, they are bound to be surprised by something, and this surprising new content is then integrated and grafted on to the familiar. Beliefs do change with the addition of new information.
But it doesn't have to be unfamiliar content to surprise the reader. It just has to be personally relevant. Frequent Bible readers may have different views of biblical authority, but they tend to read it devotionally, looking for ways in which Scripture is speaking directly to them. They will read until struck by something that sticks out in the text. Even if the reader thinks the Bible has some error or needs a lot of interpretation, this thunderbolt moment can take on tremendous personal significance.
But frequent Bible readers don't just see the Bible as personal. They also see it as authoritative, written by an author who had a specific context and intent, and they want to conform to its message. After all, why read the Bible with no desire to embrace what it teaches?
In short, sometimes reading the Bible can change views and attitudes because readers are surprised by what's in it. Other times, it's just a matter of discipleship.
You can read the rest of the article here.
If this is true, then it makes you wonder if those people who start a sentence with "well, the Bible says" have actually read the Bible.