I just finished reading an article on CNN about Americans’ level of religious knowledge. It comes as no great surprise that according to a recent study conducted that Americans do not know as much about religion as they claim they do. Even though Americans break out the Bible to punish others or deny people their rights. Even though many Americans take a holier than thou attitude when it comes to who is more Christian than someone else. I was truly amused by this.
Now keep in mind that the study was not conducted to find out how much Americans knew about the Bible but about religion in general. According to the study, people who do not believe in God and people who are unsure of God scored better than people who do believe in God. Jews and Mormons did almost as well as the atheists. White Protestants did okay. White Catholics got half of the questions right. Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics did the worst. Only eight of the approximately 3100 respondents got ALL the questions right. Six people got all the questions wrong.
The most important thing to take away from this is that many Americans just don’t know what they are talking about when it comes to religion, even though the U.S. is one of the more religious developed nations of the world. The study indicates that it’s education that is the factor in all this. The more schooling one had, the better they did. It didn’t have anything to do with how much time the person spent in church, or anything like that. To test this, the study also asked general knowledge questions, not just religious questions. People who scored well on general knowledge also scored well on the religious questions, an indicator that they were better educated. The people who failed the general knowledge questions also failed the religious questions. There weren’t too many people who could answer the religiuos questions but not the general knowledge questions.
So this tells a lot of things. Most Americans don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to religion. Many Americans throw their supposed knowledge of religion around like a child wielding a gun he found in his daddy’s closet. Even though in this country we supposedly stand for a separation of church and state, we are quick to fall back on religion to hold people down.
A sample of the quiz is located here. You can figure out for yourself how much you think you know. The questions are actually kind of basic, stuff you’d learn in any history or humanities class. But not necessarily something your preacher would tell you. So that in and of itself kinda speaks volumes.