Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jim Who?

James Dobson is one of the nation's most influential religious leaders. He strong-arms politicians, chats with Larry King and helms a radio program that's heard by millions of listeners.

And most folks have never heard of him.

According to a survey by George Barna -- a respected pollster for the Christian set -- 57 percent of Americans have no clue who James Dobson is. Compare that to the 4 percent who don't know Mel Gibson, or the 3 percent who couldn't pick Britney Spears out of a lineup.

Ironically, that makes Dobson pretty well known, at least as far as religious figures go. Other evangelical poo-bahs trailed even that showing. Rick Warren -- pastor for the ginormous Saddleback Church in California and author of "The Purpose Driven Life," was unfamiliar to 72 percent of Americans. And 73 percent said they had no clue who Tim LaHaye (co-author of the "Left Behind" series) is.

According to Barna, most of the folks who do know of Dobson generally like the guy: About three-fourths of clued-in respondents said they had a "favorable" view of Dobson. I guess the whole SpongeBob thing has blown over, eh?


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