Monday, August 1, 2016

Other (specify)

Often in surveys we ask such questions as my favorite -- what religion is Barack Obama? In the 2012 ANES survey of 5,914 U.S. adults, responses offered to candidates were generic: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, and Not Religious. Respondents could volunteer Christian or Baptist or some other denomination, but some took a different journey. Today I was digging into that question a bit deeper, into the raw text responses of people who took the Other (specify) option, some 306 of them.

In other words, they can come up with their own answers.

Here we find such gems as Obama is "a hybrid of Protestant with Muslim teachings from childhood" and another said he's "Muslim trying to be Christian." Another listed Obama's religion as "Marxist" and another as "Mason" still another as "Freemason." You get the idea. Two respondents see something even more dark, with one saying Obama's religion is "Satan" (dunno how that works) and another more specific, as "Satanist."

Another said it "depends on who he's [Obama] talking to."

Heh heh.

And finally, "Who knows for sure what he is?" Which, when you get right down to it, is an honest response. All we really know is what religion someone says he or she is.

Overall, the most popular response among the categories listed in the first paragraph was, of course, Protestant, followed by Muslim (1 out of every 5 responses). Most of the Other (specify) options were various versions of Christian in some form or another.

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