It’s not often I am presented with the opportunity to tout my atheism and gloat. After all, we of little faith generally do not win any popularity contests. Or elections, for that matter. But we did come out ahead in a recent Pew Research Center survey on religious knowledge:
Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.
Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.
On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.
Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences. [full article]
It’s not always easy being a faithless heathen in a country full of God-fearing believers, even if we are possessed of greater religious knowledge (and the occasional demon). Granted, times have changed. In years past, we might have gotten invited to the occasional barbecue (featuring us as the main entree). Now, the worst we might face is a look of scorn or pity or, ironically, disbelief. I guess folks have the Muslims to get all hot and bothered about instead.
Anyway, if you’d like to take a 15-question sample of the Pew survey, follow this link. In case you’re wondering, I aced it—15 out of 15 correct. I’m going to savor this moment while I can, since an eternity in hell (where the televisions are all tuned to Fox News) reportedly awaits me.