From time to time, we feel the need to point out that the weekly poll we run on the editorial page is meant for entertainment only. It is not designed as a "scientific" poll, and we've never claimed it is. This is one of those times.
We can usually count on a couple of hundred votes for the poll, although we've passed the thousand mark a few times. We did a poll a few years ago about whether our newspaper should publish the county gun-carry-permit database online. Word was passed around on gun-enthusiast Web sites, and we got a few thousand votes.
For this week's poll, we're above 6,000 already, so something must be going on out there. The question -- "Do you identify with some form of the Christian religion?" -- was one I chose because of recent stories in Newsweek and elsewhere to the effect that this was becoming a less-Christian nation. It might be fun to see how Fort Wayne stacks up against the national trend. Alas, we're not likely to discover that. The latest results show that more than 5,800 have chosen the "No. I'm an atheist or agnostic" option, which would make Fort Wayne a community of 94 percent unbelievers.
What happened is that someone at the FreeThought Fort Wayne blog took note of the poll when the atheist/agnostic contingent was showing about 12 percent, and the poster said: "I don't know how long the poll will be open, but feel free to vote. It'd be interesting to see if our little site can skew their results." Well, looks like they got their skewing done. I seriously doubt if 5,800 individual unbelievers took the poll. It's supposed to allow only one vote from each computer, but anyone who knows about disabling cookies can get around that little limitation.
Of course, the other explanation would be that the Fort Wayne community is 94 percent atheist or agnostic. You know how those Lutherans like to fool around.
Anyway, if you'd like to go join the fun, the poll will be open until early Monday morning. You can find it here.