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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:08 PM
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U.S. a nation of faith filled with religious illiterates
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 06:17 PM by IanDB1
U.S. a nation of faith filled with religious illiterates

By STEPHEN PROTHERO, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Published: Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005

The sociologist Peter Berger once remarked that if India is the most religious country in the world and Sweden the least, then the United States is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. Not anymore.

With a Jesus lover in the Oval Office and a faith-based party in control of both houses of Congress, the United States is undeniably a nation of believers ruled by the same.

Things are different in Europe, and not just in Sweden. The Dutch are four times less likely than Americans to believe in miracles, hell and biblical inerrancy. The euro does not trust in God.

But here is the paradox: Although Americans are far more religious than Europeans, they know far less about religion.


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trumad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:09 PM
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1. Most Americans can't even tell you where the Great Wall of China is!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:13 PM
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2. Hell, most of 'em don't know New Mexico is a STATE
Religion isn't the only thing they're ignorant about.
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Anakin Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:48 PM
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4. Why Should They Care?
To the fundies, the chinese (and other traditionally non-christians) are a bunch of either pagans or atheists. There's no need to learn anything about the unsaved ones because afterall, they won't be in heaven with you when armageddon comes. :)
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:15 PM
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3. " U.S. a nation of faith filled with religious illiterates" my new mantra!

Among Wealthy Nations
U.S. Stands Alone in its Embrace of Religion

Released: December 19, 2002

Navigate this report
Introduction and Summary

Introduction and Summary

Among Wealthy Nations

Religion is much more important to Americans than to people living in other wealthy nations. Six-in-ten (59%) people in the U.S. say religion plays a very important role in their lives. This is roughly twice the percentage of self-avowed religious people in Canada (30%), and an even higher proportion when compared with Japan and Western Europe. Americans views are closer to people in developing nations than to the publics of developed nations.

The 44-nation survey of the Pew Global Attitudes Project shows stark global regional divides over the personal importance of religion.<1> In Africa, no fewer than eight-in-ten in any country see religion as very important personally. Majorities in every Latin American country also subscribe to that view, with the exception of Argentina. More than nine-in-ten respondents in the predominantly Muslim nations of Indonesia, Pakistan, Mali and Senegal rate religion as personally very important. In Turkey and Uzbekistan, however, people are more divided over religions importance.

Secularism is particularly prevalent throughout Europe. Even in heavily Catholic Italy fewer than three-in-ten (27%) people say religion is very important personally, a lack of intensity in belief that is consistent with opinion in other Western European nations. Attitudes are comparable in former Soviet bloc countries. In the Czech Republic, fully 71% say religion has little or no importance in their lives more than any nation surveyed while barely one-in-ten (11%) say it is very important. And in Poland, the birthplace of the Pope and where the Catholic Church played a pivotal role during the communist era, just 36% say religion is very important.

The Global Attitudes study correlated views on religion with annual per capita income and found that wealthier nations tend to place less importance on religion with the exception of the United States. This is seen most clearly in Asia, where publics in the two wealthiest nations surveyed Japan and South Korea are far less likely to cite religion as personally important than those in poorer nations of the region. The lone exception is Vietnam, however, where just 24% of the public view religion as very important. (Questions on the personal importance of religion were not permitted in China, and were deemed too sensitive to ask in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.)

Much more:
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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 09:59 PM
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5. Figures
Our educational system can't make sure graduates from high school understand the basics of the scientific method let alone compariative religion. If that is taught, fundies would throw fits. If more non-college educated people actually read a book at least once a year, we'd be better off. Heck, I'm wanting to read the Koran and see what it has. American curiosity died years ago. Anyone else miss the 90's (except the horrible Linux installers)?
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HockeyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-05 08:26 AM
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6. Catholic High School
I had to take 4 years of what was called Religion which really was basically Comparative Religion or Theology. We did not sit around reading the Bible or studying our religion (that was done in elementary school). We learned about OTHER religions from Judaism to Buddhism to the different sects of Protestantism, etc. For my Senior paper I had to make the case for why there was NO God (got an A). I suppose the Fundies would be REALLY horrified at all this, but I would imagine even the likes of Jerry Falwell had to learn the same if he majored in Theology in college.

There may be a lot of things wrong with the Catholic church (some VERY major), but this issue isn't one of them. Their philosophy was you cannot "promote" your own faith if you don't what the other religions are all about. Be that what may, ignorance is NEVER bliss.
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Tux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-05 02:37 PM
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7. An A?
For proving that there is no god? Odd. I attended public schools so we never covered religion nor evolution for that matter.

True, if a Catholic wanted to convert people (never seen them try), best to know the competition. Afterall, America is about competition.
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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-05 07:19 PM
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8. In the survey, 12% of US citizens thought Noah's wife was Joan of Arc!
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