Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Catholics Know Less About Religion Than Atheists

A new Pew Forum study shows that Catholics are some of the most ignorant people in the country when it comes to faith. What a shame.
  • This should be a clarion call to Catholics - we NEED to know our faith.
  • Catholic leaders should take this personally - we NEED to form our congregations.
  • Catholic parents should be more serious - we NEED to understand we are the primary educators of our children.
  • All Catholics NEED to take this personally - it is our responsibility to help our brothers and sisters know the truth, but we can't do that until we know it ourselves.
  • It isn't enough to accept what our parents believe - we NEED to examine the doctrines of the Church to appropriate them as adults ourselves.
I hope this reality helps wake the Church up and start serious adult formation programs. Check out this intro from the LA Times (emphasis added):
If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist.

Heresy? Perhaps. But a survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "blind faith."

A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.

So, try it out - how did you do?
FYI - I got 15 out of 15 correct.

**The survey results
**The test

I agree with this quote:
"I think that what happens for many Christians is, they accept their particular faith, they accept it to be true and they stop examining it. Consequently, because it's already accepted to be true, they don't examine other people's faiths. … That, I think, is not healthy for a person of any faith," he said.


Amanda Borenstadt said...

I wasn't surprised by this study. But it's so sad. :(
It's no wonder so many Catholics stray from the faith that they don't even understand.

Ismael said...

I had the all correct... but I found this study very MISLEADING.

Knowing these questions is NOT knowing religion, but just some basic superficial ideas about some religions and the bible.

So an atheists might score high on this test... but it does not really mean that he knows a religion.

Knowing that 'Ramadam is a muslim feast' does not mean that a person knows what Ramadan actually is

Having a broad but superficial knowledge about some topic does not mean you understand it

After all if you want to learn quantum physics you look into a specialized text, not into an encyclopedia that only superficially treats the subject...

In conclusion it is true that atheists might have more knowledge... but it is probably a very superficial one (most atheists I come across demonstrate this), so they are not much more than ignorant about religion


It's sad that many catholics and christians are ignorant, that is true, on the other hand.