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View Full Version : Americans don't know much about religion... DUH!



Khalil_Allah
09-28-2010, 01:09 PM
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/0...inds/?iref=NS1

one of the significant points that I gathered from this article is that atheists and agnostics were actually more knowledgeable about religion than bible carrying Christians, on the whole. The author suggests that it is because they have actually thought about religion and examined it before rejecting/settling in agnosticism. That is certainly the case for me (cept i settled on Islam, alhamdulilah).

But I went to a super-Christian southern university (think bible-belt republicans), and I can say from first-hand experience that it is truly shocking how little some of the most fervent christian advocates actually knew about the bible and other christians.

I agree with the author of the article that the key is education. Most people just don't want to know much about biblical history nor even think it important to "know" the bible. They are raised to believe that it is the word of God and completely infallible. One of the big shockers in one of my classes was that some people actually thought Jesus spoke english. :hiding:

Anyhow, the article certainly sheds light on why Americans can be so intolerant of other religions.
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Ramadhan
09-29-2010, 04:33 AM
I think it's because the churches teach that christians are already "saved", which becomes slippery slope, and christians do not think that they have to learn their own religion, just as well, as they are most likely to abandon the wreckage that is paulian christianity when they learn their bible in depth and contrast it to the truth.
Hence you get many former christians coming to islam boards, and revert to Islam.
Btw, I got 10 out 10 in the quiz.
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Pygoscelis
09-29-2010, 06:57 AM
This study may be news to some christians, but I don't think it will surprise many atheists.

It has always puzzled me how Christians can be so holier than thou and preach at me when they don't even know their own book. A lot of those people pushing to have the ten commandments in that court room in the southern US could not name more than 3 of those commandments. You'd think people would know the code they purport to live by lol
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glo
09-29-2010, 06:44 PM
You can try a shortened version of the questionnaire (15 questions) here and test yourself against the 3,412 randomly sampled adults who were asked these and other questions in the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey.

You should be aware though that they questions are aimed towards American Christians. I had to guess the answers regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings.

I scored better than 97% of the public. :D
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جوري
09-29-2010, 06:47 PM
You answered 13 out of 15 questions correctly
for a score of 87%.


Question Your Response Correct Answer % of survey respondents answering correctly 1. Which Bible figure is most closely associated with leading the exodus from Egypt? Moses Moses 72% 2. What was Mother Teresa's religion? Catholic Catholic 82 3. Which of the following is NOT one of the Ten Commandments? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Do unto others as you would have them do unto you 55 4. When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Saturday Friday 45 5. Is Ramadan…? The Islamic holy month The Islamic holy month 52 6. Which of the following best describes the Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for Communion? The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. 40 7. In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures? Hinduism Hinduism 38 8. Which Bible figure is most closely associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering? Job Job 39 9. What was Joseph Smith's religion? Mormon Mormon 51 10. According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to lead a class in prayer, or not? No, not permitted No, not permitted 89 11. According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to read from the Bible as an example of literature, or not? Yes, permitted Yes, permitted 23 12. What religion do most people in Pakistan consider themselves? Muslim Muslim 68 13. What was the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant Reformation? Martin Luther Martin Luther 46 14. Which of these religions aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering? Buddhism Buddhism 36 15. Which one of these preachers participated in the period of religious activity known as the First Great Awakening? Jonathan Edwards Jonathan Edwards


those are my scores.. better than 93% of Americans.. bwahahaha..
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جوري
09-29-2010, 06:54 PM
Originally Posted by naidamar
I think it's because the churches teach that christians are already "saved", which becomes slippery slope, and christians do not think that they have to learn their own religion, just as well, as they are most likely to abandon the wreckage that is paulian christianity when they learn their bible in depth and contrast it to the truth.
Hence you get many former christians coming to islam boards, and revert to Islam.
Btw, I got 10 out 10 in the quiz.

exactly saved and that other minions will do their minimum wage jobs while they live off well-fare from upper class minions which they also import from overseas, and eventually they complain about people stealing their jobs, and subverting their freedom (fries, pork rinds, and 711)
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czgibson
09-29-2010, 07:23 PM
Greetings,

I got 13 / 15. Like glo, I had to guess on the questions that are to do with America. It's interesting that most people were aware that teachers weren't allowed to lead prayer in schools, but not so many knew that the Bible could be used as an example of literature. I've always viewed the KJV as one of the most important works of literature in English, so I'd be perplexed if it wasn't used in education in the English-speaking world.

As Pygo mentioned above, I'm not sure the results mentioned in the OP will be all that surprising to many atheists. A lot of atheists think it's important to know what it is they are rejecting.

Peace
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S.Belle
09-29-2010, 08:46 PM
You answered 14 out of 15 questions correctly
for a score of 93% :D

I wonder why they did not include muslims in this testing.......the avg score would have been higher lol
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glo
09-29-2010, 08:48 PM
I think that many people who hold strong religious beliefs are actively discouraged from engaing with other religions and worldviews ... probably for fear that it might sway or weaken their beliefs.
That may not apply for people who have spent time searching and studying various religions, before settling on the one which convinced them most, but many people who are 'born into' a religion don't have the benefit and insight of knowing other religions.

I think Islam is not a bad example, in how it teaches to stay away from kuffar ways of life. Doesn't that also mean not engaging in the religions of non-Muslims (with the exception perhaps of those who feel called to give dawah)?
Other religions (proabably many Christians included) equally discourage their followers from learning about other faiths.

No wonder so many people lack understanding of what their neighbours believe and hold dear - which in turn leads to people not being able to relate to each other very well - which in turn leads to conflict and tension within communities ... sad really ... :hmm:
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glo
09-29-2010, 08:53 PM
Originally Posted by Mila
You answered 14 out of 15 questions correctly
for a score of 93% :D
Nice one! :D

I wonder why they did not include muslims in this testing.......the avg score would have been higher lol
You are right, Muslims don't seem to have been amongst the 3,412 randomly sampled Americans.
The full report is here.
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جوري
09-29-2010, 09:02 PM
as it would be a shame to survey Muslims and find out that they know the most.. it wouldn't serve the public agenda of cave dwelling lunatics wielding Ak 47 and repressed broads beating the clothes on the stones by the river bank!
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PouringRain
09-29-2010, 09:04 PM
I took the shortened version yesterday and scored 100%. :nervous:


I agree with what glo said about how people in various religions are often discouraged from studying other religions. But, also, with Americans, there is always the problem of egocentricism. Let's face it-- Americans are only concerned about Americans. LOL They live in a sheltered little bubble and don't care what goes on outside the four walls in which they live. (I am overgeneralizing here, so don't shoot me. LOL) Americans get a bad rap for being poor at geography, ignorant of world affairs, etc. why not add religious ignorance to the list? :p It is a selfish, arrogant nation of people. The only time Amercans care about anything outside their four walls is if it directly impacts them.
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S.Belle
09-29-2010, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by PouringRain
I took the shortened version yesterday and scored 100%. :nervous:


I agree with what glo said about how people in various religions are often discouraged from studying other religions. But, also, with Americans, there is always the problem of egocentricism. Let's face it-- Americans are only concerned about Americans. LOL They live in a sheltered little bubble and don't care what goes on outside the four walls in which they live. (I am overgeneralizing here, so don't shoot me. LOL) Americans get a bad rap for being poor at geography, ignorant of world affairs, etc. why not add religious ignorance to the list? :p It is a selfish, arrogant nation of people. The only time Amercans care about anything outside their four walls is if it directly impacts them.
:cry:
well this american cares.....14 out 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lol im joking you are right in a sense but not all Americans are like that

The only time Amercans care about anything outside their four walls is if it directly impacts them.
but this I agree 100% with even if you look back in American history the only time America helped another country out was if we were gaining something by doing so or if we were greatly impacted if we didnt
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glo
09-29-2010, 09:11 PM
Originally Posted by PouringRain
I took the shortened version yesterday and scored 100%. :nervous:



I agree with what glo said about how people in various religions are often discouraged from studying other religions. But, also, with Americans, there is always the problem of egocentricism. Let's face it-- Americans are only concerned about Americans. LOL They live in a sheltered little bubble and don't care what goes on outside the four walls in which they live. (I am overgeneralizing here, so don't shoot me. LOL) Americans get a bad rap for being poor at geography, ignorant of world affairs, etc. why not add religious ignorance to the list? :p It is a selfish, arrogant nation of people. The only time Amercans care about anything outside their four walls is if it directly impacts them.
harsh words!
I guess being American yourself you might get away with it! :D
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Darth Ultor
09-29-2010, 09:34 PM
I'd actually encourage other religions to interact with each other. Especially the Abrahamic faiths.
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PouringRain
09-29-2010, 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by glo
harsh words!
I guess being American yourself you might get away with it! :D
:nervous: :D (It's my freedom of speech! :giggling: ) (Side note: I am actually not a fan of "free speech". :) )


I'll tell you, yes, I am an American and my families have been here for a very long time.... but I personally was not raised in American culture. It was shocking to move back to the US when I was a young teen and to see girls my age with credit cards talking about shopping, make-up, getting their hair and nails done, drove fancy sports cars and luxury cars, etc. Even younger than that, at age 11 my parents took us on a trip driving across the US and visiting people we had known (several with girls my age), and I realized then how very different my world was from theirs. They all had these bedrooms wallpapered with posters of celebrities, dressed differently than I did, etc. I had no clue who the celebrities even were, not having grown up with tv, movies, nor pop-culture music. I was a teenager before I realized that Americans didn't know the national anthem, were disrespectful to their country, and didn't know the pledge either-- because I had grown up in a very different world.
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Yanal
09-30-2010, 01:46 AM
:sl:

It might be a bit vague to say Americans but yes some who aren't Muslim don't have sufficent knowledge on Islam yet they constantly say that this is true but that isn't and such. It comes back to the arguement,my father is better than your father. Such as that the kid stating that his father is better,probably has no knowledge on how the other father actually is so its a baseless statement,just like some of this.
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titus
09-30-2010, 04:16 AM
If you read the article it also states that the level of education was the number one factor in how well people did on the test, not religious affiliation. I think that only makes sense and would probably hold true in most of the world. I would like to see the results from the same tests in other countries just for comparison.

The people on this forum need to also keep in mind that simply by being the type of person that would visit this particular forum you are most likely to do better than average.

This American scored 15/15 on the test, although I must admit I guessed on the last one (although I knew it wasn't Billy Graham so it was a 50/50 shot).
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Ramadhan
09-30-2010, 07:48 AM
I'd like americans to learn a LOT MORE about Islam.
It would be shocking to them I 'm sure to learn what truths are, and how different from the lies, propaganda, and filths that have been spread about Islam and muslims.
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davehair
10-01-2010, 02:09 AM
there was a piece in la times on about 297h september By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.
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Rabi Mansur
10-01-2010, 03:12 AM
Got 14 out of 15. I guess that is not too shabby.

:)
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