The Pew Forum has done it again with their latest in a series of polls that show the dumbification of America.
Just when we think this country is full of Kumbaya singers, universal proselytizers and everyone reading the same page on religion, we discover that people of faith, in essence… can’t friggin’ read!
Or if they can, their rote memory skills need some serious prayer, as seen in USA Today by the great Cathy Lynn Grossman.
The new U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, released today by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that although 86% of us believe in God or a higher power, we don’t know our own traditions or those of neighbors across the street or across the globe.
There lies the rub. The words “God” and “Christian” are about as homogenized as anything on the dairy shelves. Any schmo with a lick of scruples and an inkling of interest in you know, not burning in a liquid furnace of lava, hell flames and demonic drones, says they believe in God.
And that, by proxy, makes them a “Christian.” Unfortunately, it means nothing to more than half of the people with that card in their pockets. More about that in a moment. First, the key findings from the 3,412 dolts surveyed who know nothing about religion:
Doctrines don’t grab us. Only 55% of Catholic respondents knew the core teaching that the bread and wine in the Mass become the body and blood of Christ, and are not merely symbols. Just 19% of Protestants knew the basic tenet that salvation is through faith alone, not actions as well.
Basic Bible eludes us. Just 55% of all respondents knew the Golden Rule isn’t one of the 10 Commandments; 45% could name all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
World religions are a struggle. Fewer than half (47%) knew that the Dalai Lama is a Buddhist; 27% knew most people in Indonesia are Muslims.
This is a problem. You have to study for a drivers license, to pass a spelling test and to learn how to operate any one of your kids’ toys, but anyone can be a “Christian.”
There’s no connection to Christ, no relationship with the Lord and absolutely no personal zeal to tell people about why being a Christian is so important to them. And why? Because they aren’t one.
Moreover, it’s the who in the survey that’s more telling. It seems if you have an angst against this “God” guy everyone loves to follow like some hack on Twitter, you research the most about him to debate his sheep. Example A: Atheists and agnostics did the best on the survey with 20.9 correct.
There’s more than power in the blood of the Lamb, there’s a lot of ignorance too. Example B: Black Protestants only got 13.4 correct, second to last to… wait for it… Hispanic Catholics at 11.6 percent.
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'” (Matthew 4:4 NLT)
Sure, it’s nice to go to church and see your friends then go to Luby’s. But there is a world dying out there while some of us are busy taking surveys. What happened to the passion of learning God’s Word? How far have we departed from the Bible and into the country club known as “Church Lite”?
I suppose as long as there are surveys, we will continue to find out. Unfortunately for those of us who mean it when we follow… um, what’s his name again?