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Freethought Today ยท March 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Many believe God directly involved in sports, politics

One-fourth of Americans believe God plays a role in determining the outcome of sporting events.

White evangelical Protestants and nonwhite Protestants are more likely to see the hand of God in the outcome of sporting events than any other religious group, according to a Public Religion Research Institute report by Daniel Cox and Robert P. Jones. About 40 percent of nonwhite Protestants and 36 percent of white evangelical Protestants believe God plays a role in determining which team wins. Fewer white mainline Protestants (25 percent), Catholics (25 percent) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (9 percent) believe God plays a role in determining outcomes on the field.

Nonwhite Protestants (65 percent), white evangelical Protestants (62 percent), and white mainline Protestants (59 percent) are more likely than Catholics (48 percent) and religiously unaffiliated Americans (29 percent) to believe God rewards faithful athletes with success and good health.

2016 election

Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe God played a major role in determining the outcome of the 2016 election. Thirteen percent say God played a minor role and a majority (55 percent) say God did not play any role at all in the presidential election.

Close to half of Republicans believe God intervened to help Donald Trump win the presidency, compared to 26 percent of independents and only 18 percent of Democrats.

Nearly seven in 10 Democrats believe God had no hand in determining the outcome of the election.

White evangelicals stand out from other religious groups in their belief that God intervened in the 2016 election. A majority (57 percent) of white evangelical Protestants say God played a major role in determining the outcome of the 2016 election, a view shared by fewer than half of nonwhite Protestants and fewer than one-quarter of white mainline Protestants (22 percent), Catholics (21 percent), and the religiously unaffiliated (7 percent).

Praying for teams

Close to two-thirds (63 percent) of Americans consider themselves to be a fan of a particular sports team. Among sports fans, 20 percent report that they believe their team has been cursed at some point, while 28 percent say they have prayed for God to help their team.