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HolyGround >> Americans Religious Ignorant


9/28/10 2:00 PM
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Ridgeback
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 A recent poll demonstrated that most people don't know squat about the religion they follow in the US.  Mormons and white evangelicals did the best, which actually doesn't surprise me.  Hat's off to most Mormons for actually taking their faith seriously.  

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_rel_religious_literacy_poll
9/28/10 4:46 PM
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zealot66
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 beat me to it. doesnt suprise me.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/28/survey-americans-know-little-religion/?test=latestnews
9/28/10 5:57 PM
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Lahi
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Edited: 09/28/10 7:11 PM
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That quiz was pretty easy too.
9/28/10 7:09 PM
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Lahi
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Edited: 09/28/10 7:12 PM
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Here's a link to it:

features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge
  
9/28/10 7:57 PM
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zealot66
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 I missed one on the leading of a prayer but got 14 out of 15. And think of this..People are more ignorant of politics than religion. And they vote. Campaigns are about winning the weak mind.
9/28/10 9:50 PM
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Ridgeback
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 That was terribly easy.  I got 15/15.  

I blame public schools.
9/29/10 12:33 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Ridgeback -  That was terribly easy.  I got 15/15.  

I blame public schools.


Agreed. The majority of the questions were what should be general knowledge.
9/29/10 12:55 PM
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prof
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Ahem...

Someone forgot to mention that atheists/agnostics scored highest for religious knowledge on the test. ;-)

Those on various secular/philosophy/religious forums were surprised at all. We are always - always! - accused of being ignorant about Christianity by Christians. Given Christians themselves can't agree about Christianity (note the huge number of divergent sects) you can repeat what one Christian says about Christianity verbatim, and count on another Christian showing up to tell you how ignorant you are of Christianity..because "real Christianity is..."
Then repeat that view to another Christian and you'll get yet another "Well, obviously you are ignorant about Christianity, you see THIS is the correct way to interpret the bible..."

Repeat Ad nauseam .

I think the observation made by the pollsters for why atheists/agnostics scored higher makes sense. A majority of people who are atheist/agnostic started out as a member of some religion. And it's often through a more critical analysis of their beliefs, and exploration of other options, that lead them to leave their Christianity. Time and time again we see on the religion/philosophy forums (like Internet Infidels) that the theists coming there are often less familiar with the bible and the wider field of Christian thought than the atheists/agnostics on the forum.

Even when you have someone who is very well versed in THEIR particular sect of Christianity, they are often less familiar with the wider view, including being less familiar with the arguments and defenses used by other Christian sects.

There certainly are exceptions: numerous Christians who are ARE well read and display deep familiarity with their religion and display knowledge of sects and ideas outside their own (I count Ridgeback and some others here among them). But, as a general trend, for someone who has followed the debate between secularism and religion for decades, the results of this poll are no surprise at all.

Prof.
9/29/10 2:19 PM
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jimmy23
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12 out of 15 :(

 
9/29/10 6:12 PM
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Ridgeback
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prof - Ahem...

Someone forgot to mention that atheists/agnostics scored highest for religious knowledge on the test. ;-)

Those on various secular/philosophy/religious forums were surprised at all. We are always - always! - accused of being ignorant about Christianity by Christians. Given Christians themselves can't agree about Christianity (note the huge number of divergent sects) you can repeat what one Christian says about Christianity verbatim, and count on another Christian showing up to tell you how ignorant you are of Christianity..because "real Christianity is..."
Then repeat that view to another Christian and you'll get yet another "Well, obviously you are ignorant about Christianity, you see THIS is the correct way to interpret the bible..."

Repeat Ad nauseam .

I think the observation made by the pollsters for why atheists/agnostics scored higher makes sense. A majority of people who are atheist/agnostic started out as a member of some religion. And it's often through a more critical analysis of their beliefs, and exploration of other options, that lead them to leave their Christianity. Time and time again we see on the religion/philosophy forums (like Internet Infidels) that the theists coming there are often less familiar with the bible and the wider field of Christian thought than the atheists/agnostics on the forum.

Even when you have someone who is very well versed in THEIR particular sect of Christianity, they are often less familiar with the wider view, including being less familiar with the arguments and defenses used by other Christian sects.

There certainly are exceptions: numerous Christians who are ARE well read and display deep familiarity with their religion and display knowledge of sects and ideas outside their own (I count Ridgeback and some others here among them). But, as a general trend, for someone who has followed the debate between secularism and religion for decades, the results of this poll are no surprise at all.

Prof.

 Not forgot. Its just that atheists are not in the same position of being obligated to actually understand the religion one claims to practice like Christians are.  Most American atheists make a conscious decision to reject religion whereas there a bunch of American nominals who don't really make any decisions, but rather passively drift along and just kind of take whatever religion they were given by their parents.  So it would make sense that those making conscious decisions about their faith or non-faith would be the ones who take the time to educate themselves about religion.  So it doesn't surprise me either that atheists and agnostics would do well. They spend more time thinking about God than the average American nominal Christian ever does.  
9/29/10 7:19 PM
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martial_shadow
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I got 14/15. In fact, the only ones I had to really think about were the 'according to the US Supreme Court, can a teacher..' given that US law is outside my zeitgeist. If someone with a bachelor's degree can't get at least 12, I really question wtf they were doing when taking their humanities (religion, philosophy, history, politics) courses which would provide most of the answers.
9/30/10 6:03 AM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - I got 14/15. In fact, the only ones I had to really think about were the 'according to the US Supreme Court, can a teacher..' given that US law is outside my zeitgeist. If someone with a bachelor's degree can't get at least 12, I really question wtf they were doing when taking their humanities (religion, philosophy, history, politics) courses which would provide most of the answers.

 None of that stuff was actually covered in high school or college for me.  I just figured it out on my own.  
9/30/10 9:08 AM
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prof
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Roger that Ridgeback. Over 'n out.

Prof.
9/30/10 7:13 PM
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martial_shadow
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Ridge- What did you learn in Western Civ, US History and philo 101?
9/30/10 8:48 PM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - Ridge- What did you learn in Western Civ, US History and philo 101?

 Nothing related to those questions. In my US history classes you would have thought Christianity didn't even exist.  
9/30/10 9:18 PM
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Grakman
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 15/15 very easy test. Hard to believe so many scored so poorly.

Well, maybe not. :(
9/30/10 11:34 PM
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martial_shadow
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Christian Deism, the Jefferson Bible, the flight of the Puritans?
10/1/10 1:24 AM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - Christian Deism, the Jefferson Bible, the flight of the Puritans?

 The only time any beliefs were discussed in detail would be college literature classes as we worked our way through specific texts (like Ben Franklin's letters or biographies).  It isn't an accident that these people all went to secular public schools and are terribly ignorant about religion and nearly every other subject under the sun.  Only students who set out to learn on their own transcend the poor quality of American public schools.  I used to get yelled at in high school for reading books in class.  In other words, I got in trouble for learning in school.
10/1/10 4:42 PM
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zealot66
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martial_shadow - Christian Deism, the Jefferson Bible, the flight of the Puritans?

 The issues you mention, I have actually read a couple of books on this summer. There is still a war in this country over its founders, their beliefs, the constitution, etc. I think there were dedicated christians among our founders, because of their own words and deeds. That needs to be acknowledged. I think Deism and Christianity get convoluted though in peoples minds with these founders. Most imo were practical deists. Meaning they were essentially deists who expressed themselves in a christian manner because that was the cultural norm of the time. 

One only need to read letters, statements etc of many to know that they believed the church a vtial instrument in society to keep it moral and without it the country would fail. However, I do believe that there is a seperation of church and state in the sense that govt would not dictate the powers to the church. The constitution was in a sense a truly ecumenical document founded on principles of Natural Law and Liberty.
Jefferson's writings are great to me because he questioned God the church, etc. Most founders werent so bold in their public statements. The country was founded on principles only a moral/religious culture could truly uphold and they give deference to our Creator, whatever you want to call him.

However, in the NT I cannot see anything that really meshes well with the nation state except render unto caesar the thing that are caesars and unto God the things that are Gods. There is no blueprint in the NT for how to run a nation state. Islam has this with shariah law. Man confronted with christianity and empire began setting up a template of combining the two and it hasnt always gone well. Nor does the bible teach it. 

You cannot equate the power of a nation state with will of God. Our founders believing that the will of God was for America to succeed and only did so thru divine intervention is a testament to the roots or our political philosophy. However, "I regret that I only have but one life to give for my country" wasnt a christian martyrdom. They were martyred for their political beliefs. We are citizens of heaven but practially speaking just by partaking in society we are citizens of whatever country we live in. 

Our current war on Terror and radical Islam isnt a christian holy war. Its a nation state that is killing its enemies to secure our political and personal freedoms and protection. 


 
10/1/10 7:06 PM
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Grakman
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zealot66 - Our current war on Terror and radical Islam isnt a christian holy war. Its a nation state that is killing its enemies to secure our political and personal freedoms and protection. 

 

 How is the current War on Terror securing our personal freedoms?  We have LOST personal freedoms since 9/11, not held or gained any. I can't take a bottle of water on a plane now;  our phones and lives are subject to wire tap without warrant as long as a 'board' approves; every US citizen must have a US passport to enter the United States (how long before exit visas will be required?); and unrelatedly we've lost the legal 'war' against the doctrine of eminent domain; we lost some of our rights to political speech in the McCain-Feingold bill; I could go on ad nauseum but there is no reason to. We are less free now than before.
10/1/10 7:14 PM
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martial_shadow
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Ridge- while I clearly support personal education and 90% of my religious and philosophical readings have been on my own- in school I learned about the religious foundations of Canada, the philosophical pillars of western civ, etc. Not in any great detail (that came from my own learning) but enough that I would think most ppl could answer these questions.
10/1/10 11:34 PM
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Ridgeback
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martial_shadow - Ridge- while I clearly support personal education and 90% of my religious and philosophical readings have been on my own- in school I learned about the religious foundations of Canada, the philosophical pillars of western civ, etc. Not in any great detail (that came from my own learning) but enough that I would think most ppl could answer these questions.

 I think the paranoia over the separation of church and state leads to a neglect of those things related specifically to religion in American public schools.  I am not saying it is an orchestrated thing, but it just wasn't a subject I noticed any teacher seemed interested in delving into on a deep level.  And many of them simply lacked the background to do so.  The classical Western education is nearly dead in the US.
10/2/10 5:04 PM
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zealot66
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 by personal freedoms I meant freedom from terrorism. You can argue ad nauseum about the Patriot Act, airport security, wire tapping etc. I havent been affected by these issues because Im not doing anything I need to hide. I know all the sentiment about personal and civil liberties but really I think that in retrospect to our past history in wars, we are still very unencumbered by govt. A perspective of a person doing business in a certain country or having family members suspected of terroristic activites would probably be differen than mine. But we arent rounding up Muslims into camps, confiscating their property etc. If you want to live in a country that you can travel, do business etc, without being blown out of the sky, you need security protocols. Otherwise you shouldn't bitch when planes are hijacked or bombs are set off in public places. 

Regarding our wars in Afghanistan, we never should have diverted our attention to Iraq. We wouldnt have the widespread network we are now trying to dismantle 10 years after the fact. If these networks are planning and plotting from pakistan and afghanistan, then we should be killing them and doing what we are doing. I dont think however that we should be building a nation state there. It just isnt going to work. Exporting American 'democracy' to a stone age islamic country isnt going to work. Not only that, the country is only a country in terms of geographical boundries. The russians fougnt this out like the british and now us.

Iraq ? I dont know. I think in the long run, the world and Iraq will be better  off without Saddam Hussein. freeing 50 million people isnt such a bad thing is it ??
10/2/10 5:32 PM
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Grakman
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^  I disagree with the laws that have been passed and with the wars over seas both. We helped put Saddam in power, after all, and when he is no longer useful we have to spend tax dollars and American blood to overthrow him? If they would just tell us we're fighting for oil and the American way of life I'd find it more acceptable, at least it would be honest. Seriously, what WAS the real reason we invaded Iraq again? The purpose of the war shifted every couple of years, especially after the 'link' between Al-Queda and Saddam was exposed as non-existant. Yelloe cake uranium anyone?

If we're going to fight for freedom and to overthrow dictators, why don't we invade Venezuela? Mexico and Colombia too for the drug trade that is destroying our border and our youth. And we could take out the trade deficit with China AND restore human rights if we'd just take down those dang Commies in Beijing!

Why do we still have bases in Europe, Korea, and Japan? Is the defense of South Korea from the north and Germany from the now-defunct Soviet Union going to be the responsibility of the United States in perpetuity?
10/8/10 6:28 AM
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IBI
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15 / 15.

But I was educated in England, and thus had Religious Studies lessons at school.

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