Captain America or God: Who Said It?
Survey Shows More Americans Attribute Bible Verse to Comic Book Hero Than to the Good Book
In a summer filled with superhero cinema, Americans are confusing Captain America's messages of triumph with quotes from the Bible. The results of a survey released today found 63 percent of U.S. adults incorrectly attributed a Bible verse1 about overcoming suffering and hardships to civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., former President George W. Bush or comic book hero Captain America rather than the Bible. Martin Luther King Jr. received the highest percentage of attributions.
The survey2, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of American Bible Society to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11 and the release of The Freedom Bible also found that:
- Despite significant security measures taken since Sept. 11, only 9 percent of Americans feel safer today than they did prior to Sept. 11. Thirty-six percent felt safer prior to the attacks of Sept. 11 than they do today.
- Only 4 percent of Americans rely most on professional counseling to help deal with trauma. Four times as many (16 percent) rely most on the Bible.
- Despite living in a predominantly Christian nation, 82 percent of Americans who have dealt with trauma rely most on sources other than the Bible to cope, including 6 percent of whom say they do not rely on anything.
"Though 10 years have passed since the attacks on the U.S., many of us vividly recall the images and emotions of that day," said Geof Morin, chief communications officer at American Bible Society. "In the aftermath of 9/11, we at American Bible Society saw firsthand the power of the Bible to help people deal with unfathomable trauma."
Headquartered in Manhattan, American Bible Society was on the scene on 9/11 and in the days and weeks following the attacks to minister to first responders and the families of those missing or killed. "Sept. 11 forced us as individuals and as a nation to choose between being prisoner of the trauma of that terrible day or finding the hope and freedom to move forward," said Morin. "For thousands of Americans, the comfort offered through the Bible allowed them to choose freedom."
"The Bible - not politicians, comic book heroes or civil rights activists - was the first to speak out about dealing with trauma and gaining freedom," said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander for The Salvation Army, a collaborator on The Freedom Bible project.
The Freedom Bible, a collaborative effort between American Bible Society and The Salvation Army, highlights stories of how the Bible has helped people to overcome trauma. Not a new translation, The Freedom Bible is the first to highlight more than 3,500 verses that refer to various aspects of freedom, including from fear, from suffering, from loss, from anger, from guilt and more. The Freedom Bible is currently available at Bibles.com and in Manhattan at the American Bible Society bookstore. In late September, it will also be available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, ChristianBooks.com, and LifeWay and Family Christian stores. For more information, visit UncoverFreedom.com.
About American Bible Society
Headquartered in Manhattan, the 195-year-old American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message. One of the nation's oldest nonprofit organizations, today's American Bible Society provides interactive, high- and low-tech resources enabling first-time readers and seasoned theologians alike to engage with the best-selling book of all time.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to SalvationArmyUSA.org.
12 Corinthians 4:8 "We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up." (Contemporary English Version)
2This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive via its QuickQuery omnibus product on behalf of American Bible Society from Aug. 4-8, 2011, among 2,572 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Amy Anderson (770.813.0000).