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Religious Illiteracy

John on March 6, 2007 at 10:53 pm

There’s a new book out written by a Boston Univ. professor named Stephen Prothero. The title is Religious Literacy and in it he argues that most Americans are woefully ignorant of religion, including the one they claim for themselves:

According to the book, although 90 percent of people in the United States claim they are Christian, only a few know anything about religion.

Only 10 percent of American teenagers can name all five major world religions while 15 percent cannot name even one.

Prothero also notes that about two-thirds of Americans believe that the Bible holds the answers to all or most of life’s basic questions. Yet, only half of the adults in the country can name one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and most Americans do not know the first book in the Bible (Genesis).

Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me at all. Anyone who has driven the streets knows that 90% of the drivers aren’t Christians. I’d estimate the real number is 40% or slightly less. That’s a huge number of people, but nothing like 90%.

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