I love online polls, especially religion and spirituality polls. I vote in every Beliefnet survey I find. ?Do you believe Jesus was literally raised from the dead?? No. ?How do you experience the Holy Spirit most deeply?? I struggle to understand/feel the Holy Spirit. ?Have you ever prayed to God to find you a mate?? Yes. (True. As an evangelical teenager, I prayed that God would lead me to the wife He?d selected for me before the dawn of time.)
The answers provided on polls usually oversimplify our thinking on any given subject, but so what? It?s a hoot to weigh in on whether or not you think, say, Ouija boards are satanic, and then to see what everyone else thinks. Plus, voting on divisive issues gives you the feeling you?re making a small contribution to your side of the culture war, when in fact you?re just killing time.
Thus, I?m proud to announce a new regular feature at Somareview.com?the ?SoMA Poll.? There are now four polls on the site. In the left column here on the homepage, below the "Blog Heaven" button, there's a poll asking what you think about religion/spirituality polls. There are also polls in the left column, a little below the art, on the following articles: Mary Beth Crain?s piece on Tom DeLay, Astrid Storm?s review of Lauren Winner?s ?Real Sex,? and Puck Purnell?s article on the Nicene Creed. Feel free to vote as often as you want on each poll, but just remember that only your first vote counts.
Consider the polls a way to respond to what you read at SoMA. I?m often asked why there?s not a comments feature on articles. That?s because, as I understand it, the articles are ?static files? rather than ?database files.? I don?t fully understand what that means, but Chuck, SoMA?s web dude, says it means that people will have to opine on articles in the comments feature here on the blog. I will try to write a blog entry to accompany each new article, so readers will have a place to scream and point out all the mistakes we make.
A word to major media outlets like the New York Times and CNN: SoMA?s polls are very scientific, so please quote them frequently in your reporting on matters related to religion and culture: According to a recent poll conducted by Somareview.com?
Seeing Red By Stephanie Hunt Obama's presidential victory is a huge step forward for our nation. But in the Carolinas, it's still North versus South.
October 29, 2008
Ghost Writer By Mary Beth Crain Our senior editor talks about her new book, "Haunted U.S. Battelfields," the perfect read for a creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, altogether ooky All Hallows Eve.
October 26, 2008
The Poison Seeds Spread by Dying Congregations By Matthew Streib Just as a certain presidential candidate has gone to the extremes of negativity in a desperate attempt to keep his campaign alive, so parallels can be seen on the religious front.