Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Benedictines Skew National Poll on Patience, Called "Curvebusters"

In groundbreaking news, the Associated Press released a poll proving that Americans are impatient.

What it didn't mention was that the poll needed to be redone, given that their first "random" sampling, thanks to a hacker, was entirely comprised of Benedictine monks.

"We thought it was odd we were getting so many phone calls from the AP, but didn't think any more about it," said Brother Thomas Latterin, abbot of Sacred Heart Monastery in rural Arkansas. "But one of the brothers became curious and asked for a follow-up."

One of the questions, "When waiting in line in a store of office, how long do you have to wait before losing your patience?" was answered by 99% of the sampling of monks at "when in line at Eucharist, I will wait for the Lord forever."

The other question, "When you are waiting on hold on the telephone, how long are you willing to wait before you lose your patience?" was answered by 95% of the monks as "However long God gives me the grace."

"The first poll results were skewed by some religious hacker, who wired our dailing program to repeatedly dial in one town, of which the residents were all the monks of the monastery," explained AP poller Raymond Green. "We wondered after a couple quoted '...they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint', which is apparently from some Old Testament prophet named Isaiah. Then we realized something was definitely up when we kept hearing bells, and the caller would politely say, 'I must go pray. I apologize. God bless.'"

Abbot Latterin said, "We actually found the results interesting. We've plenty of examples of not being suffciently patient. But the monastery is a school of the virtues: as St. Paul said, patience, compassion, kindness, humility, and meekness. That is what our community life, not mention ora et labora, are all about. It's a daily struggle to be Christ's disciples."

AP poller Raymond Green said "Those Benedictines were real curvebusters on tapping the American mood. We'll have to get that kink in the dailing system fixed before our next groundbreaking poll on Americans and humility, for sure."


The graphic above, from the true poll, is from the Associated Press.

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