Generally I'm happy to give it--whenever people call for surveys and polls I'll offer up my two cents' worth. Sometimes I like to mess with them (come on, who doesn't?), but generally I mess with them simply because I'm a mother of faith with a Master's degree and pretty liberal politics. Environment, poverty and health care rank high on my agenda; banning gay marriage, gun rights and crime aren't big problems--at least not the way politicians think they should be. I want women to have reproductive rights, I think immigrants should have equal access to jobs and education, I like President Obama, the government should spend less money, I think Sarah Palin's a shrew. These opinions skew against my race, religious beliefs, income and education level--I can practically hear the wheels turning when the pollster goes on to ask the next question.
So imagine my delight when I got called by the Gallup Poll people a couple days ago. The Gallup Poll--the pollsters of all pollsters, the cream of the crop.
Things started out normally enough--they asked what issues concerned me most (see: environment, health care, poverty, clean energy) and then Gallup asked me to rank "other important issues" on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important): gay marriage, abortion, crime, economy, blah-blah-blah.
Gallup moved on to gleaning my attitude about various people in the news, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Glenn Beck (really? Why him? Why not Jon Stewart? Oprah? He's nobody and I told Gallup as much, not that it registered because they only want my opinion within their perimeters--kind of like when I ask Mr. D if I look okay in a certain outfit and I only want him to say "yes").
Then Gallup began to ask me about religion. I thought I knew where this was going--they were trying to find a link between politics and church-goers. I replied that I attend church at least once a week, faith is important to me, I believe in God (or a higher being). (I tried to clarify that faith is very important to me, religion notsomuch, but again that probably didn't register. Pollsters do not appreciate nuance.)
Then it got weird.
Gallup wanted to know if I believed in angels. Hell. The devil. Ghosts. Spirits. UFO's. Life on other planets.
Really? UFO's? ESP? I kept waiting for them to ask if I believed in fairies, but they didn't.
And then I didn't even get to say what religious affiliation I was because it wasn't even an option--the closest I could get was "Protestant."
After exhausting the God/spirit/voodoo category, Gallup asked me to rank my feelings about the NBA. The NHL. MBA. NFL. What was my favorite professional team?
Spill it, reader. What in the world do you suppose Gallup was trying to find out? The link between Democrats who believe in UFO's and love hockey? I am stumped--and kind of rethinking my opinion about Gallup after this experience.