No surprise. Many Americans know little about religion, its origins for it tenants and about other religions.
In a perhaps counterintuitive finding, the researchers discovered that atheists and agnostics generally know more about religion than people who profess a belief. Atheists and agnostics, on average, answered 20.9 questions correctly. Dave Silverman, president of the advocacy group American Atheists, told The New York Times that he was not surprised by that.There were also some differences due to amount of education, which stands to reason. In addition, though they knew more about their own faith, what they knew was still relatively low.
"I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people," he said. "Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That's how you make atheists."
Atheists and agnostics were closely followed in religious knowledge by Jews, who answered 20.5 questions correctly on average, and Mormons, who averaged 20.3. Protestants averaged 16 correct answers; Catholics averaged 14.7.
Respondents were generally more knowledgeable about their own religion than about other religions, but still had significant gaps even there. More than half of Protestants (53 percent) could not identify Martin Luther as the man whose teachings inspired the Protestant reformation. And 45 percent of Catholics did not know that that the Catholic Church teaches that the communion bread and wine actually become -- not just symbolize -- the body and blood of Christ.I took the quiz. I got 14 out of 15 right. I guess nirvana is part of Buddism. I thought Hinduism. Still, not bad. But I am an historian and we do study a lot of the backgrounds to cultures. It depends on how broad your undergrad is, but mine was pretty broad. In addition I was raised in a church that studied books of the Bible carefully and intellectually. I wish I could find a church that studied the Bible for my children, rather than making them memorize verses. Really? Doesn't anybody do Sunday school classes where the kids hear the Bible story and then learn about what it is supposed to teach us about our own lives? Memorization teaches you nothing but a bunch of archaic verses.
Not so random today. Go random up.