Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Religiously Illiterate

It may come as a shock to some, but despite the fact that religion is often front and center in US society, far too many Americans are religiously illiterate! This sad conclusion is indicated on a poll to be released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Interestingly enough, atheists and agnostics seem to score better than many other groups. (Could it be that people in these categories watch Faux Nooz far less?)
Among the findings:
  • Atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored the highest, outperforming evangelical and mainline Protestants and Catholics on the survey.
  • Mormons and white evangelicals knew the most about Christianity and the Bible.
  • Jews, atheists and agnostics were most knowledgeable about world religions and the role of religion in public life, including what the U.S. Constitution says about religion.
As for their own faith traditions:
  • Nearly half of all Catholics surveyed did not know their church teaches that the bread and wine in Communion actually become the body and blood of Christ.
  • More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.
  • And four in 10 Jews did not know that the medieval philosopher Maimonides was Jewish...

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