A recent survey by Baylor University (summarized in today's USAToday) found that:
- 28.5% of Americans have read The Davinci Code.
- 44% have seen The Passion of the Christ.
- 19% have read at least one of the Left Behind novels.
- 25% of US women have read The Purpose-Driven Life.
The study authors also decided that the respondents (a statistically-valid representative sample of all Americans) divided their attitudes toward God into these categories:
- Authoritarian (28%): God is angry at sinners and won't hesitate to throw disaster at the unfaithful.
- Benevolent (23%): God sets absolute standards but is inclined to be nice to us.
- Distant (24.4%): God is a cosmic force that launched the world and now lets it run on its own. [This is the God most common among Catholics and Jews]
- Critical (16%): God is judgmental, but isn't going to intervene one way or the other.
[source: Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, funded by the John Templeton Foundation]