Day 143: Taking a public poll

You know how you get those annoying people (usually students) on the streets that approach you and want to ask you questions or want you to fill out a survey? Well today… I was that person. Only I wasn’t annoying… I hope.

I thought it would be interesting to ask people the same questions, and see what the general views were. I was thinking of keeping it very simple, only one or two questions. The questions? I had no idea what I was going to ask. I thought maybe something fun or stupid like a favorite something (I hate favorite questions, so I don’t know why the heck I thought I would ask one!). My sister, Bec suggested asking something with more depth.

We each came up with a question (of course I didn’t make her come with me to ask people!) and here’s what I ended up with in my notebook:

-What do you think happens when you die?

-What 2 words come to mind when you hear the word “Christian”?

These are always things that you wish you knew what people thought about, but most of them time never ask, right? Well in our case it was, so that’s what I asked.

After an hour of approaching everyone I came in contact with (except for the moms chasing after their kid), I had 30 answers. 19 were from women, 11 from men. I estimated that 12 were over the age of 40; 6 were 30-40; 8 were 20-30; and 4 were under 25. These were my results:

-“What do you think happens when you die?”

9 said “You go to Heaven.”

7 said “nothing.”

6 said “I don’t know.”

6 said “You go to Heaven or Hell.”-with some adding “You face the maker.”; “Judgement.”; and “I hope Heaven”

1 said “You go into the ground and become part of the Earth.”

1 chose not to answer

-“What 2 words come to mind when you hear the word “Christian”?” (I didn’t mention some that were only said once)

7 said “Bible”,”cross” or “Church”

6 said a combination of “Jesus”, “Christ” or  “God” (with one using “Jesus Christ” as a swear)

5 said “spiritual” or”religious”

4 said something like “good/holy person” or “morals”

3 said “faith”

3 said “love”

1 each said “bigotry”, “intolerance”, “hypocrisy”, “evil” and “hatred”

1 said “me” and 1 said “not me”

The results to my questions were definitely sobering and some, frustrating. So many people don’t know what will happen when they die, but that in itself wasn’t what got me upset. It was the fact that they didn’t even seem to care about it. Most acted like they hadn’t even considered life after death, and others just didn’t care that they didn’t know. They didn’t want to know.

Going into this, I thought that I would get a lot more negative responses to the second question. At first I was glad (and surprised) that only 4 people or so really showed animosity towards Christianity. Then I grew frustrated with the fact that so many people felt indifferent to the idea. They weren’t against Christians, but they were content with not knowing about Christianity. Indifference shows that they don’t really care about Christians or Christianity one way or the other, and that can be more disheartening than someone who has acceptance or rejection for Christ.

Anyways, I wasn’t taking this poll for any particular end other than the experience and curiosity on the two topics. I hope you find the results enlightening. Maybe they will encourage you to think more on the subjects or how you can be approaching the public (specifically those you interact with) in regards to them.

One funny story of the day: I started talking to a woman, her husband and their daughter. They were very nice, and within 3 seconds it was clear the man loved to talk on these types of issues. (His wife gave me a sidelong glance and said, “He should have his own blog, he loves to talk!”) And yes, he sure did. He started going off on I don’t even know what and provided me with my favorite quote of the day:

“I think the world needs to have one religion. And you know what it’s going to take for that to happen? There is going to be an invasion. By some alien nation.”

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