Thirty-Six Years After Ingrid Bergman's Public Shame a People Poll Asks: What Is Sin?

Thirty-Six Years After Ingrid Bergman's Public Shame a People Poll Asks: What Is Sin?
01/13/1986

updated 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/13/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Sin. Define it. Can you? Or is the definition in constant flux? In-grid Bergman was a beloved Hollywood actress in 1948 when she played Joan of Arc (right), an innocent burned at the stake as a sinner. Two years later Bergman would feel the heat of America's wrath for the sin of bearing one man's child while married to another. Today adultery and out-of-wedlock pregnancies seem commonplace—the stuff of film and TV dramas, such as the upcoming Joan Collins miniseries, Sins, which will air on CBS starting Feb. 2. To help us find out what, if anything, qualifies as a sin in 1986, fill out the following questionnaire and return it by Jan. 13 to: AHF-PEOPLE Poll, 9th Floor, 20 West 33 St., New York, N.Y. 10001. The results will be published in the Feb. 10 issue.

1. Are you currently employed? Yes No

2. What is your age? ___

3. Are you: Male Female

4. Are you: Married Single

5. What state do you live in? ___

6. How regularly do you attend religious services?

Weekly
Monthly
A few times a year
Once a year
Less than once a year
Never

7. How does that compare with 15 years ago?

Now attend:
More often
Same
Less often

8. My religious denomination is: ___

9. Do you believe in God?

Yes
No
Not sure

10. Do you believe in:

Heaven
Hell
Both
Neither

11. Do you believe sinners will be punished?

Yes
Non
Not sure

12. How does your tolerance of sin compare with your parents' at the same age?

More tolerant
Same
Less tolerant

13. How much do you think you sin compared with your parents?

More
Same
Less

14. Can you list the "Seven Deadly Sins" from memory?

1. ___
2. ___
3. ___
4. ___
5. ___
6. ___
7. ___

15. How would you rank the Ten Commandments in order of difficulty? (The hardest to keep would rank #1, and the easiest to keep #10)

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. ___
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. ___
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. ___
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. ___
5. Honor thy father and thy mother. ___
6. Thou shalt not kill. ___
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. ___
8. Thou shalt not steal. ___
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. ___
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife...nor anything that is thy neighbor's. ___

16. How many sins do you commit in a month? ___

17. Would you report a bank error in your favor if it was made by a...

Cashier: Yes No
Cash machine: Yes No
Computer: Yes No

18. Below is a list of things people may consider sins. Rate each one using the following scale:

1 No guilt feelings
5 Would feel guilty
10 A sin

Now
15 Years Ago

Telling a white lie ___ ___

Not voting ___ ___

Incest ___ ___

Swearing ___ ___

Adultery ___ ___

Murder ___ ___

Smoking ___ ___

Cheating on your income tax ___ ___

Abortion ___ ___

Divorce ___ ___

Greed ___ ___

Atheism ___ ___

Sexual harassment ___ ___

Parking in a handicapped zone ___ ___

Not helping someone in danger ___ ___

Calling in sick when you're not ___ ___

Premarital sex ___ ___

Taking drugs ___ ___

Drinking alcohol ___ ___

Jealousy ___ ___

Embezzlement ___ ___

Rape ___ ___

Capital punishment ___ ___

Explicit rock lyrics ___ ___

Pederasty ___ ___

Taping off TV or radio ___ ___

Living together without marriage ___ ___

Homosexuality ___ ___

Spying against your country ___ ___

Revenge ___ ___

Masturbation ___ ___

Tattling ___ ___

Spouse swapping ___ ___

Industrial spying ___ ___

Suicide ___ ___

Idle gossip ___ ___

Lust in your heart ___ ___

Laziness ___ ___

Child abuse ___ ___

Drug dealing ___ ___

Unwed parenthood ___ ___

Selfishness ___ ___

Mercy killing ___ ___

Cutting into lines ___ ___

Hypocrisy ___ ___

Reading/viewing pornography ___ ___

Killing to protect your property ___ ___

Misrepresenting something you're selling ___ ___

Overeating ___ ___

Bigotry ___ ___

Nude sunbathing ___ ___

19. When you listed the "Seven Deadly Sins" on the previous page, did you cheat?

Yes No

20. If so, was that a sin?

Yes No

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