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Americans Stumped and Thumped

#1
Don't mean this to be another USA bashing thread.. I'm just reporting the latest in surveys of the Educational Level/State of Americans on select topics as found by certain surveys.

does open a jaundiced eye or two, though

More than 10% of Americans believe that Joan of Arc was Noah's wife [ not a joke or T-shirt, really ] This is just one of the distressing statistics that Stephen Prothero, the Chair of the Reigious Department at Boston University, presents in his book, Religious literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - and Doesn't.

He claims that although the United States is arguably the most religious nation in the developed world, it is also the religiously ignorant.
How does your Biblical knowledge compare to that of Americans? Only half of those polled could even name one of the four Gospels. a mere one in three knew who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. And, less than half of those polled could identify the first book of the Bible. [ won't insult you by giving you the answers ]

On the other hand 75% of adults believe that the Bible teaches that " God helps those who help themselves " [ Benjamin Franklin said it, actually ]

It may be a bit surprising to learn that Evangelical Christians, who traditionally place high value on biblical literacy, fared only slightly better than their non-evangelical counterparts.

Unsurprisingly, Americans know even less about Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism or Hinduism than about Christianity or Judaism

This lack of Biblical proficiency is only one manifestation of a more general decline in the public's cultural and civic knowledge.

according to polls conducted by the National Constitution Centre, only one third of Americans can name even one of the rights protected by the First Amendment

[ no report on where the surveys were taken so possibly the mountains of Kentucky and Virginia - cue deuling banjos - may have been a factor - though I doubt it much bearing/slant on results ]

okay, unleash the hounds, I've got my teflon skivvies on for the inevitable backlash of 'kill the messenger.'
 
#2
Uh... the reason Biblical knowledge has declined is that a huge chunk of the population is agnostic at best. Far as Joan goes... she's a casualty of an education system that focuses on just the past few centuries with earlier occurances being brushed lightly till college. Anyway, my guess is the poll was by no means a broad sample of the populace.
 
#3
Just for my two cents, in 7th grade we had a unit on the "major religions" (consisting of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism). I remember it well, though admittedly, most I talk to who had the class don't even remember taking it.

The middle ages and the crusades were covered well, as were early Mediteranian societies.

Unfortunately, teachers throw a lot out there, but rarely double-check to make sure the information actually gets through to their students.

I'm a bit biased living in Oregon, which has been proven to be the least religious state in the entire country (seriously, A study was done, Oregon is the least religious state). So for me, as a christian, I've always been a minority. I've just grown used to the idea that most people I meet will be completely unaware of Christian Theology or any other religion.
 
#4
Graduate of Portland State here CJ, lived in Beaverton! Loved the Pac-NW, except for the constant rain... Anyway... back to the discussion at hand. :)
 
#5
To be fair to them, how many of your average inner city chav scum in Britain would have even heard of Joan of Arc?
 
#7
Khyros said:
Graduate of Portland State here CJ, lived in Beaverton! Loved the Pac-NW, except for the constant rain... Anyway... back to the discussion at hand. :)
That's hillarious. Virgil, Trip_Wire, Yank_Marine, and myself all have pacific northwest roots. It seems every American that's found his way to Arrse is or was a resident of the rainy NW... as you said, back on subject

These results sadly are accurate from what I've seen in my life here. I can't count how many times I've had to correct somebody's botched biblical reference
 
#11
#12
Trip_Wire said:
Chief:

This article seems to differ a little with what you say. Where is the study you quoted from? :?

http://www.adherents.com/loc/loc_oregon.html
I don't recall, however the study I'm thinking of might be outdated (it was done some time ago if I do recall, so it probably is outdated now that I think about it)

Still according to the report you presented, Oregon has the
highest proportion of religiously-unaffiliated and self-identified "nonreligious" residents
Anyway, I think I may have driven the thread off topic. We should be addressing the study that this thread is really about
 
#13
Chief_Joseph said:
Trip_Wire said:
Chief:

This article seems to differ a little with what you say. Where is the study you quoted from? :?

http://www.adherents.com/loc/loc_oregon.html
I don't recall, however the study I'm thinking of might be outdated (it was done some time ago if I do recall, so it probably is outdated now that I think about it)

Still according to the report you presented, Oregon has the
highest proportion of religiously-unaffiliated and self-identified "nonreligious" residents
Anyway, I think I may have driven the thread off topic. We should be addressing the study that this thread is really about
What ever the thread topic really was about, (?)

I think that most Catholics, would know who Joan of Arc was. As I recall my Catholic grade school days, I remember being taught about her, as being made a Saint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc
 
#14
Chief_Joseph said:
Khyros said:
Graduate of Portland State here CJ, lived in Beaverton! Loved the Pac-NW, except for the constant rain... Anyway... back to the discussion at hand. :)
That's hillarious. Virgil, Trip_Wire, Yank_Marine, and myself all have pacific northwest roots. It seems every American that's found his way to Arrse is or was a resident of the rainy NW... as you said, back on subject

These results sadly are accurate from what I've seen in my life here. I can't count how many times I've had to correct somebody's botched biblical reference
Not all of them. I'm from the Northeast. It may have something to say about the Midwest however.
 
#15
Khyros said:
Uh... the reason Biblical knowledge has declined is that a huge chunk of the population is agnostic at best. Far as Joan goes... she's a casualty of an education system that focuses on just the past few centuries with earlier occurances being brushed lightly till college. Anyway, my guess is the poll was by no means a broad sample of the populace.
Doesn't chime with the image we get over here of a load of mouth breathing biblical literalists. Maybe there is hope for America!
 
#16
Iam knackered than never used to listen in sunday school to busy thinking about how the power rangers were doing lol
 
#17
Khyros said:
Graduate of Portland State here CJ, lived in Beaverton! Loved the Pac-NW, except for the constant rain... Anyway... back to the discussion at hand. :)
Spent two years at PSU before joining the Army. Small world.
 

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