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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Americans "Deeply Ignorant" on Religion

You may have already seen this, as it's getting a lot of press, but let's discuss it from a pro-life angle.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has released the results of a 32-question religious quiz it administered to over 3400 Americans. Atheists and agnostics got an average of 20.9 questions correct, about three points higher than evangelicals and four points higher than Catholics and mainline Protestants. From the article:
Among the topics covered in the survey were: Where was Jesus born? What is Ramadan? Whose writings inspired the Protestant Reformation? Which Biblical figure led the exodus from Egypt? What religion is the Dalai Lama? Joseph Smith? Mother Teresa? In most cases, the format was multiple choice.

The researchers said that the questionnaire was designed to represent a breadth of knowledge about religion, but was not intended to be regarded as a list of the most essential facts about the subject. Most of the questions were easy, but a few were difficult enough to discern which respondents were highly knowledgeable.

On questions about the Bible and Christianity, the groups that answered the most right were Mormons and white evangelical Protestants.

On questions about world religions, like Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism, the groups that did the best were atheists, agnostics and Jews.
The average American got more than half the questions wrong. That's just pathetic.
SecularProLife.org's primary goal is to make abortion unthinkable for people of every faith and no faith. But in the process, members are getting to know people from different religions and cultures. The core pro-life belief is that every human being is a unique person of value; our diversity is therefore an asset, not a liability. I encourage pro-life Christians who want to brush up on their knowledge of world religions to stop by our facebook group and make a friend of another faith background.

And in case you were wondering:
Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Ramadan is a holy month in Islam.
Martin Luther's writings spawned the Protestant Reformation.
Moses led the exodus from Egypt.
The Dalai Lama is Buddhist.
Joseph Smith was Mormon.
Mother Teresa was Catholic.

23 comments:

Yonmei said...

SecularProLife.org's primary goal is to make abortion unthinkable for people of every faith and no faith

Right, because women deserve to die or be permanently damaged. You really can't get away from hating women, can you?

Yonmei said...

The core pro-life belief is that every human being is a unique person of value;

And women, in this "core", aren't human, since it makes women not unique people of value, but just objects to be used until broken to produce babies regardless of their will.

Yonmei said...

I've said before that it's clarifying and enlightening that this blog exists, since the common perception is that patriarchal religion is the source of the misogynistic stance that denies women humanity and free will: that disregards an entire half of the human race as uniquely of value.

No religion is good or bad in itself: a person's character, not their faith, informs how they act. A misogynist will be pro-life: a person who believes that every human being is born with reason and conscience and is of unique value, will be pro-choice.

Jen R said...

Yonmei, I can't imagine that you find it fun or intellectually satisfying to come here day after day and twist people's words until they fit what you imagine them to be saying.

What would happen if you came to believe that not everyone who opposes abortion is a misogynist? Why do you resist that idea so hard that you have to engage in these gymnastics?

Yonmei said...

Jen R, what would happen if you came to believe that it was wrong to force women? If you came to believe that women's health and lives are of unique value, not to be casually destroyed by others? Would you begin to wonder how you could ever have supported a movement whose whole basis is to force women, inhumanly disregarding their health, the value of their lives?

Why do you resist the idea that each pregnant woman has the right to choose for herself whether or not she wants to have a baby? Why do you think your feelings about abortion deserve to be imposed on other women against their will?

You resist human rights for women, and do mental gymnastics pretending you're doing so because you want to "save babies". Why is it so hard for you to perceive that every other woman in the world is, like you, a unique and special person, to be treasured and supported, not used against her will?

Jen R said...

Distort away. I just wonder what you get out of it that makes it worth so much time and effort and rage.

Yonmei said...

What do you get out of pretending my bringing you face-to-face with the reality of being pro-life is a "distortion", Jen R?

If you don't like the reality, why cling to the identity?

secularprolife.org said...

All the women Yonmei purportedly wants to save from us horrible, bullying anti-choicers were once unborn human beings, to be "casually destroyed by others." If she's going to call our position sexist, I'm going to call hers ageist.

As feminist pioneers understood, there is nothing inconsistent about respecting both women and unborn children. There is, however, a huge inconsistency in building gender equality on the oppression of another class. (In a prior comment thread, Yonmei conceded that the unborn have the right to life; her position is based solely on the idea that women's rights trump children's rights.)

Yonmei said...

All the women Yonmei purportedly wants to save from us horrible, bullying anti-choicers were once unborn human beings, to be "casually destroyed by others."

Er... are you saying that women, to you, are just aborted fetuses?

If she's going to call our position sexist, I'm going to call hers ageist.

Because I don't think of women as aborted fetuses?

As feminist pioneers understood, there is nothing inconsistent about respecting both women and unborn children.

Of course not. But there's a deep inconsistancy in the pro-life position that you deny respect to women - and, as you have repeatedly asserted, deny even the value of health for other women - in order to claim you "respect" the fetus a woman is carrying.,

(In a prior comment thread, Yonmei conceded that the unborn have the right to life;

"Conceded"? Huh. Odd way to put it.

It's you who assert, in utter defiance of reality, that somehow a fetus has more rights that the pregnant woman.

her position is based solely on the idea that women's rights trump children's rights.)

Nope. My position is based solely on the idea that no human being has a right to make use of another human's body against her will.

Your position is the misogynistic idea that a woman's body exists to be used against her will to make babies - no matter how much damage this does to her.

Your claim that this means I think "women's rights trump children's rights" kind of ignores the fact that the pro-life position on children's rights is that a raped and pregnant child should be forced through childbirth, denied abortion, even if a pregnancy too young ensures that child will never be able to choose to have babies as an adult. Pro-life force trumps children's rights: pro-choice respects both women and children as unique and valuable human beings.

Yonmei said...

A response to your comment has gone to the spam queue, SP.

Number 29 said...

I'm surprise that Jesus was born in Bethlehem rather than Jerusalem. That is not what I was taught at my old school. Interesting.

By the way, this is DarkCougar555. I used the blogger account 'cause it is easy to use it than LJ account. =)

Yonmei said...

DarkCougarNumber29, seriously?

I'm more than a little gobsmacked. It's not just that Bethlehem is referenced in multiple gospels, it also comes up in so many carols that are standard fare at Christmastime in Britain.

My background is Quaker - I discovered I'm an atheist between 10 and 20 - and from extensive reading during that time I know that my knowledge of the Bible is way more extensive than your average fundamentalist.

But knowing that Jesus was born at Bethlehem doesn't even require Bible knowledge - it's one of those cultural commonplaces, it sadly comes up in the news given that Bethlehem is inside the West Bank.

I'm not doubting your word that you were taught differently at school, I'm just startled at your teachers, more than you.

Number 29 said...

You seem you are being civil a bit, so I'll post it to reply yours. At the first thing, I thought I was probably confused with His birthplace and His death place. But, about some minutes ago, I just checked out to see my old worksheets & homework in my boxes, so I am right that I was just misunderstood. I thought His death place was Bethlehem and birthplace was Jerusalem. But I doubt it is doing something with my former Christian belief or my old teachers.

I don't mind anyone call me either DarkCougar or 29. Twenty-nine is just my favorite number. =)

Yonmei said...

I just checked out to see my old worksheets & homework in my boxes, so I am right that I was just misunderstood.

Sorry, I don't get that - are you saying you misunderstood/misremembered or that you were actually taught incorrectly?

I don't mind anyone call me either DarkCougar or 29. Twenty-nine is just my favorite number. =)

27. 3 cubed. Or 42, for obvious geek reasons.

Number 29 said...

Misunderstood, yes.

Aheh.

Number 29 said...

OK, I'll clarity it. I thought His death place was Bethlehem and birthplace was Jerusalem, which is incorrect. I now understood it is correct is Bethlehem for His birth and Jerusalem for His death.

Sorry for confusion. My first language is not English, so I'll do my best to explain what I said.

Yonmei said...

Thanks for clarifying. It's easy to misremember a fact which is really unimportant - a piece of religious trivia. I would just have been very appalled at the US educational system if they'd actually taught you it wrong.

Michelle Ye Zhang said...

I think what is interesting is that Protestants and Mormons scored the best of Christian-related topics. Only interesting because in the debates Christians are often accused of "not knowing their own religion" by many atheists.

Yonmei said...

I scored 15/15 on the truncated quiz, and went looking for the full-length version: found it on Christian Science Monitor... and scored 32 out of 32.

:D

secularprolife.org said...

"Er... are you saying that women, to you, are just aborted fetuses?"
Huh? No. My point is that, under the pro-choice rubric, nobody (male or female) has the right to be here. That position is hard to reconcile with respect for the uniqueness of persons.

"pro-choice respects both women and children as unique and valuable human beings."
Sorry, but you cannot respect children while claiming a "right" to kill them, and expect me to take you seriously.

secularprolife.org said...

"I scored 15/15 on the truncated quiz, and went looking for the full-length version: found it on Christian Science Monitor... and scored 32 out of 32."
Sweet.
Here's the quiz, for whoever else wants to take it: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0928/Are-you-smarter-than-an-atheist-A-religious-quiz/When-does-the-Jewish-Sabbath-begin

Yonmei said...

Huh? No. My point is that, under the pro-choice rubric, nobody (male or female) has the right to be here.

Well, yeah.

No one has the right to be here: we were all born because our mothers (unless they lived under a pro-life totalitarian regime) chose to have us. Do you respect your mother? Do you think she had to be forced to give birth to you, that she wouldn't have wanted you?

Sad if so.

Sorry, but you cannot respect children while claiming a "right" to kill them, and expect me to take you seriously.

Except I've never, except in your violent pro-life fantasies, claimed a "right to kill children". You made that up, just as pro-lifers always have to invent that kind of crap to justify their murders and terrorism.

Abortion doesn't kill children, and you know it. You know abortion terminates an unwanted pregnancy: that your use of "killing children" is mere hate rhetoric, which you yourself do not believe.

Simon said...

Told you she is a clueless troll.