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Atheists and agnostics outscore faithful in religious knowledge


America’s struggle to up those math and science scores is old news, but it looks like one of the most religious countries in the developed world also needs a refresher course on faith. A survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that questions on this supposedly Judeo-Christian society of ours (and Judeo-Christian anything) are most likely to be answered correctly by atheists and agnostics, followed by Jews and Mormons. Embarassingly enough,

“Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.”

“More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation.”

(Sounds like we might as well have just stayed at Donut Sunday rather than waste time in those religious education classes.)

For all the uproar over separation of church and state, it should be a given that Americans are crystal clear on what the Constitution says about religion, right? Wrong. In fact, the researchers found that Americans thought the law was far stricter about religion in public schools than it actually is; less than a quarter of Americans surveyed realize teachers can read from the Bible as an example of literature. Unfortunately, there‘s almost no way the history of world religions will be making its way into a classroom near you any time soon, but I‘ve got four years worth of curriculum if you‘re interested!

Full story at Huffington Post.


Up the curve on religion.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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  • Richard The Wise

    Since its "Faith" we’re discussing here, how can anyone else”s opinion on an individual’s faith even matter? There are many different philosophies. The only one’s I object to are those that demand that you follow their path exclusively or are punished (or killed). Those that promote general welfare and peace are more inclined to attract followers. My favorite perspective on the battle between Muslim, Christian and Jew is that they can all trace their lineage back to Abraham (this according to their own written works). So even here, its a conflict within a "family".