Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Survey: Atheists Know More About Religion Than Believers


Wow, EPICFAIL to all of us "Believers". According to a new Pew Forum Poll, atheists know more about what they don't believe in than the Christians who supposedly believe it. From MSNBC:


"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.

The survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge, including understanding of the Bible, core teachings of different faiths and major figures in religious history. The U.S. is one of the most religious countries in the developed world, especially compared to largely secular Western Europe, but faith leaders and educators have long lamented that Americans still know relatively little about religion.

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." To read the whole story, click here.


Sigh. Did half of all Christianity skip Sunday School? Obviously quite a few people were not properly catechized. Anyway, if you're interested in finding out what the Bible actually says, log on to Equip.org.And if you're one of those Catholics who don't know a thing about Rome but the Pope, you can check out EWTN.

8 comments:

Don said...

Does this survey pertain only to non-believers or the ones who refuse to truly believe, as well? If so, I have to believe that it's result of those factions wanting nothing more than to prove Christians wrong. Probably. Did you know that The Cross really has no bearing on Christianity?

Alisha De Freitas said...

I believe it pertains to people who choose not to believe, such as atheists and those who are unsure, like agnostics. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you on people just wanting to prove Christianity wrong. I spent about 30 minutes speaking to a fellow Christian who admittedly does not read the Bible because she "does not like it." Why? "Genesis is too long and boring!" For many people, it's willful ignorance.

Also, it does not surprise me many atheists and agnostics would know a lot about the Bible. You have to remember, most of them are ex-Christians!

Can you clarify what you mean by "Did you know that The Cross really has no bearing on Christianity?"

Don said...

Thanks for replying.

I am shocked to admit that a Christian actually admitting to not doing much worthwhile reading when it comes to the Bible. Kinda unheard of, but then again, most of the Christians I come across simply enjoying arguing.

I once wrote a post called Parting "The Red C." But I never posted it, cause the sentiment itself would have probably offended a few people. It suggest that some Christians are actually Devils, hence "The Red C," or Christians actually dressed like Devils.

I spoke upon those human beings being no more Christ-like than I am Moses. It was a humorous post (had to be), but I kinda was in an aggressive mood at the time, and felt shameful upon reflection.

Oh. The Cross. Well, as you know, Jesus Christ was nailed to a stake and that would completely negate The Cross ass nothing more than a Pagan tradition.

Alisha, please don't come back and attack me. Lol. I might be suffering from willful ignorance, at the moment. If so, please explain in the civil manner we always offer explanation.

Just teasing.

Alisha De Freitas said...

*smile* No attacks.

Okay, I am quite familiar with the Watchtower teaching that Jesus actually died on a stake and not a cross. Sigh. Of all their doctrines, this one always made me smh the most. Well, not that's not true. The "no blood transfusions" one does.

Okay, so first I want to ask you to do some very simple research of the earliest Watchtower publications. They're available online for the most part. You'll notice there were crosses used in their logo. Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses actually has a cross on his grave (along with a pyramid... really). You can easily find this online, too.

Nowadays Witnesses dismiss this as the "darkness" of the earlier years of their group, but now they have the new "light of revelation." Okay, fair enough. But since they've always claimed to be God's sole "channel of communication", and we know that God is unchanging, the "Alpha and Omega"... well, you get what I'm saying. Either God gave the earliest Witnesses, or Bible Students as they were known, the okay for the cross (and by the way, celebrating Christmas and birthdays) and even the use of the King James Version of the Bible, or He didn't. And if He did, why did He gradually change His message?

Now apart from this, I'd be careful of saying "The Cross has no bearing..." That could be misinterpreted as "Jesus' death has no bearing on Christianity," something that even Witnesses would disagree with.

Was I kind enough? *big smile*

Don said...

But since they've always claimed to be God's sole "channel of communication", and we know that God is unchanging, the "Alpha and Omega"... well, you get what I'm saying.

Understood. Thanks for the knowledge. I called myself attending The Kingdom Hall for about 5 good months in '08 and I never knew these things. Of course it's not like the elders were dying to tell me either. Lol.

Very kind. Extremely intelligent. I might need to go and stand in the corner (timeout) for a few minutes after the schooling I just received.


Question (out of curiosity): Since Christ actually did die upon a stake and not a cross ... why is the cross being reveled as a religious symbol?

Alisha De Freitas said...

"Since Christ actually did die upon a stake and not a cross ... why is the cross being reveled as a religious symbol?"

Outside of the Witnesses, what other Christian group makes this claim? Why is it that only in the New World Translation does it say "stake" as opposed to "cross"?

In nearly every reliable, orthodox and historically accurate translation of the Gospels, Jesus Christ died on a cross. I believe the Watchtower's rejection of this is both foolish and disheartening. Foolish because the sacrificial power of His death would not be any less no matter the way He was killed. Disheartening because in their attempt to distance themselves from "Christendom", they have erased a mighty symbol of God's everlasting love for mankind.

I understand their rejection of worshiping or giving adulation to objects, such as the cross or icons. But their way of picking and choosing what's "pagan" is odd. Do you know that exchanging wedding rings was originally a pagan rite for weddings? Yet the Witnesses have no problem with doing this at their weddings.

I personally have friends who are Witnesses and know they are good people. So please don't think I'm a hater. I just put up my radar against any particular group, church, denomination, fellowship or sect that claims they have the "Truth" and all others don't. That flies in the face of Jesus' promise to never leave or forsake His church, and also His saying that the "gates of hell shall not prevail against" his church.

Jesus didn't take a leave of absence from His followers until the 1870s... or 1914... or 1918.

And no, the Elders wouldn't say that. But they might not know.

Don said...

No. It is described in the bible as a stake, although I cannot cite the precise scriptures.

Foolish because the sacrificial power of His death would not be any less no matter the way He was killed.

You are absolutely correct and it's probably best that I take this "way out" of this particular conversation that you have so kindly offered. Lol.

It's impossible for anyone with a functioning brain to ever consider you as a hater. Too much knowledge to result to the ignorance that hate defines.

Alisha De Freitas said...

"It's impossible for anyone with a functioning brain to ever consider you as a hater."

I know quite a few actually... :-(

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