Blog reader “Couldn’t be Better” says he believes this poll result indicates that people who self-identify as Christian on polls (typically majorities in most U.S. polling) do so  to say what is expected, rather than as an indicator of beliefs:

More Americans believe a statement about giving “justice to the poor and homeless” came from President Obama instead of its true source, the Bible.

A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Bible Society found that 54 percent of U.S. adults polled believe the statement — “You must defend those who are helpless and have no hope.

Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless” — came from a celebrity or politician, when the statement actually comes from Proverbs 31:8.


Of the 1,001 adults surveyed, 16 percent believed the statement came from Obama; 13 percent said it came from the Bible. Other popular answers included the Dalai Lama, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Oprah Winfrey.

Other questions in the survey also addressed poverty and the Bible.


In a question about the teachings of the Bible, 40 percent said the Bible offers the most teaching on heaven, pride or adultery, even though poverty is actually mentioned more than any of these subjects.

But it was Jesus, wasn’t it, who said the stuff about situationally justified killing and discrimination against people whose sexual orientation we don’t like?