“Survey: Americans don’t know much about religion”

Did you catch this article about religious literacy in the news recently?  It’s interesting that so many Americans who belong to a religion don’t know what the religion believes — i.e., what they are supposed to believe.

Here’s the link:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_rel_religious_literacy_poll

What do you think?  Comments I got when I posted this on facebook yesterday:

Daria Boissonnas
Shocking: “Less than half of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, and less than four in 10 know that Vishnu and Shiva are part of Hinduism.”
Yesterday at 10:48am

Erik Christian Wibe Due
…certainly much better to be a Norwegian then… at least 10 out of 10 of us brilliant Norwegians know such elementary stuff… 😉
Yesterday at 11:27am

Jenna Kensey
I wonder if one factor is because Americans tend to be rather a la carte with their spiritual beliefs — a blend of this, that, and the other thing?
Yesterday at 11:37am

Robin Ridley
I saw this, too. Interesting that atheists and agnostics knew more about the precepts of the major religions than avowed followers. Do they know what they believe in?
Yesterday at 12:25pm

Diane Fast
I’m wondering if the ignorance is because most forms of Christianity consider themselves the only acceptable choice. So maybe people don’t explore any other religion because it is ignorance at best, demonic at worst.
Yesterday at 12:33pm

Sheri McConnell
I agree Diane. Isn’t it b/c most Americans are Christian and just don’t “study” outside of their religion. I always joke that I was Babtist as a child b/c that is the bus that came by and picked kids up in the poor neighborhoods… and then I was Catholic for a while b/c of ex husband… and after seeing the inside of that… I just decided to be spiritual. I find Religion facinating as a way to study human behavior. 😉
23 hours ago

Patsy North
I think a survey of Americans’ knowledge of just about anything would probably yield the same results..
22 hours ago

Morna McEver Golletz
Daria, did you take the test? I saw it on the news the other night. I missed one of the 15, the last one. I think it might have more to do with being curious about the world around you. I think also depends on where you live. In DC it’s such a multi-cultural area, we are exposed to many beliefs.
21 hours ago

Lois Darlington
It looks as though education is the main determiner. I was very interested that Jews and atheists/agnostics had the highest scores on the question about the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation!
15 hours ago

Daria Boissonnas
I think being curious and thinking for yourself is key. Buying the “we’re right and they’re wrong” mentality sure makes the world a lot simpler, but it closes you off to new expansive viewpoints. (Task #3 of Awakening: Explore Possibilit…y in the World!!!)

They say that when you are truly comfortable in your spiritual outlook, discussions with and about other religions/viewpoints will only deepen and strengthen your understanding of your own beliefs, not convert or brainwash you. At their core or in their higher teachings, most religions say the same positive thing anyway. I see people today rejecting the how-tos and keeping the core spiritual message.

The trouble comes when it all gets passed around by word of mouth, people add their own stuff, and it loses its power and accuracy. The Law of Attraction teachings, for instance, have declined to a bunch of hooey that doesn’t work in many cases. Not that I have an opinion. 😉 Reiki has been so watered down in some lineages that it’s not Reiki any more. Etc.

Seek truth. Read the classics and the masters. Keep questioning.
4 hours ago

Patsy North
I think the curiosity has to be stronger than the fear of those who are different.