None of the above

When pollsters ask people what their religious identity is, they usually answer with a phrase like “I am of the Catholic tradition,” or “I am a mainline Protestant” or “My people are Jewish.”

If I were asked, I could answer “Christian,” in aspiration. Or, to sharpen the point, “Lutheran.” But pollsters like to sharpen the point even further. “Are you born again?” they ask. “What do you believe? How do you practice? Do you pray and read the Bible? Are you liberal or conservative or moderate?”


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