Christian Ignorance: This Explains A Lot!

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As an agnostic, I have often marveled at the general ignorance of mainstream thinking, especially regarding religion and separation of church and state. Numerous times I have listened to professing Christians make fools of themselves talking about their theology or constitutional issues of religion in this society. Now there is evidence that I was not hallucinating. Many of these people really are stupid and because they think they speak for god, they can be dangerous. These are the findings of a new Pew Research poll.

Read this story from The Christian Science Monitor at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2010/0928/Agnostics-atheists-Jews-and-Mormons-score-high-in-religion-survey?sms_ss=email


A new survey of Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.

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. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish....

Respondents to the survey were asked 32 questions with a range of difficulty, including whether they could name the Islamic holy book and the first book of the Bible, or say what century the Mormon religion was founded. On average, participants in the survey answered correctly overall for half of the survey questions.

Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15....

On questions about Christianity, Mormons scored the highest, with an average of about eight correct answers out of 12, followed by white evangelicals...

The study also found that many Americans don't understand constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools. While a majority know that public school teachers cannot lead classes in prayer, less than a quarter know that the U.S. Supreme Court has clearly stated that teachers can read from the Bible as an example of literature.

"Many Americans think the constitutional restrictions on religion in public schools are tighter than they really are," Pew researchers wrote....

South Carolina's most outspoken atheist, Herb Silverman, also had something to say about the Pew survey in his weekly Washington Post column. Read his words right here: http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/herb_silverman/2010/09/ignorance_and_faith.html

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