According to the Pew Research Center, there are 247,000,000 Christians in the United States. In other words, 80% of all Americans identify as Christian.
Pew just released poll showing that nearly half (48%) of these American Christians believe that Jesus will “definitely” (27%) or “probably” (20%) return to earth in the next 40 years. In other words, nearly 119,000,000 million Americans believe that Jesus will return within 40 years.
I am in the midst of a reading programme that involves the classification of human history into various epochs or periods. Though these typological schemes come in different shapes and sizes, most of them reduce to a progressive binary along these lines:
Ancient Epoch Modern Epoch
The next time I read an anthropologist, sociologist, or historian who tells me that that the Enlightenment worked a revolution in prevailing or characteristic modes of thought and we have passed beyond mythical thinking or a mythopoeic era, my head will almost certainly explode. I’m talking to you Ernst Cassirer, Peter Gay, and Robert Bellah. The ghost of Lucien Levy-Bruhl continues to haunt us.
Addendum: In this April 2, 2013 poll, we learn that 13% of American voters believe that Obama is the Anti-Christ and another 13% are not sure whether he is the Beast. Because there are ~150 million American voters, this means that nearly 20 million Americans believe he is the Anti-Christ and another 20 million consider it possible.