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The Slippery Slope of Bible Literalism

Gallup polling shows for the first time in 40 years of asking this question that the number of Americans who say the Bible is a book of stories recorded by humans has surpassed the number who believe it is the "word of God to be taken literally".

What the headline doesn't reveal is that a clear plurality still believe the Bible is inspired by God but is not all meant to be taken literally—as has been the case every time Gallup has polled this subject.

In fact, the "inspired" group has remained fairly consistent through the years, rising from 45% in 1976 to 47% today. The "fable" group has increased solely at the expense of the "literal" group. In other words, today's atheists are being drawn from the ranks of the former literalists.

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