Fact Check

NBC Belief in God Poll

News agency conducts online poll about Americans' belief in God?

Published Sept. 9, 2006


Claim:   News agency conducts online poll about Americans' belief in God.

Status:   Multiple:

  • Various news agencies have conducted online polls about removing the words "In God We Trust" from American currency and "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance:   True.
  • NBC ran a poll asking people if they believed in God:   False.

Examples:   [Collected via e-mail, 2006]


Do you believe in God?

NBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest Number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the Percentage was the same as this:

86% to keep the words, IN God We Trust and God in the Pledge of Allegiance
14% against.

That is a pretty 'commanding' public response.

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't .

Now it is your turn . .. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such A mess about having "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why is the world catering to this 14%?


If you agree, pass this on , if not, simply delete.

NBC is taking a poll on "In God We Trust"

Here's your chance to let the media know where the people stand on our faith in God, as a nation. NBC is taking a poll on "In God We Trust" to stay on our American currency. Please send this to every American you know so they can vote on this important subject. Please do it right away, before NBC takes this off the web page. Poll is still open so you
can vote.


This is not sent for discussion, if you agree forward it, if you don't, delete it. By me forwarding it, you know how I feel. I'll bet this was a surprise to NBC.

Origins:   This statement about an NBC poll first came to us in November 2004, when it appeared within an Internet-circulated item about the

daughter of murder victims decrying the removal of "So help me God" from the oath trial witnesses are sworn by. It has since become a stand-alone item, with all mentions of the trial witnesses' oath and the murder stripped out, and appears to be either a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation of a real online survey run by a news agency. The actual poll referred to didn't ask about belief in God; it inquired about how people felt about the words 'under God' being part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

A March 2004 CNBC poll asked, "Should the words 'under God' be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?" (That poll is now closed.) Of the 231,980 responses, 15% said yes and 85% no.

Similarly, a November 2005 MSNBC poll asked "Should the motto 'In God We Trust' be removed from U.S. currency?" and extended to those willing to offer their opinion the choice between "Yes. It's a violation of the principle of separation of church and state" and "No. The motto has historical and patriotic significance and does nothing to establish a state religion." Of the 27,862 responses given by 9 September 2006, 20% said yes and 80% no. Of the 7,054,407 given by 24 August 2008, 22% said the motto should be removed, and 78% said it should be retained. And of the 17,811,157 given by 28 October 2009, 11% said the motto should be removed, and 89% said it should be retained. The poll still accepts responses.

While both polls did attempt to gauge sentiment about deleting mention of God from certain items (American money and the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance), neither of them, as the e-mail would have it, asked "Do you believe in God?"

"Belief in God" mailings seem to be of interest to the online world. In 2001, one of the e-mails of the (then) moment concerned a supposed race between two fellows caught up in a competition to see who could gather 300 e-signatures first, the one asking for the autographs of those who believed in God, or the one asking for the e-signatures of those who didn't. That it was never anything but a hoax didn't stop that "petition" from being circulated, signed, and forwarded all over the place.

Barbara "sign of the times" Mikkelson

Last updated:   28 October 2009

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