wordsout by godfrey rust
BREAKING THE CHAINS  < 21 of 61 >



Mr Gallup reports

Now that truth is a matter of opinion
we took a poll
to find out what we should believe in.

Reincarnation (27 per cent)
has hit a low point,
but it'll be back.

Satan (30 per cent)
is said to be quietly satisfied
but hopes to do worse next time. 
In his opinion
it's better the Devil you don't know
as what you don't know can't hurt you, can it?

Heaven (57 per cent)
sure beats the hell out of
Hell (27 per cent),
a triumph of hope
over experience.

Sin (69 per cent)
despite the best efforts
of social work and education
is sorry to be still so obvious
and after all this time so unoriginal,

while God (76 per cent)
tops the poll
and wonders that so many still believe
yet never bother
to let him know.


Based on the results of an opinion poll in the UK in the 1980s. The figures have changed significantly since then:  a 2015 YouGov survey showed that just 33% of people in the UK believed in God, with a further 20% believing in some "higher power" which was not God. 14% were agnostic and the remaining 32% athiest.

I worked for Gallup Poll in the 1980s and knew George Gallup Jr, son of the company's founder, so the poem's title is not entirely facetious.

Godfrey Rust 1988, godfrey@wordsout.co.uk. See here for permissions.