a group of religious books on a shelf
Per the results of the Pew Research Center survey, atheists are more likely to know basic facts about these religions than Christians.

A new Pew Research Center religious survey that quizzed nearly 11,000 U.S. adults on a variety of religious topics in February 2019 has some interesting findings.

Of the 32 multiple-choice questions asked, the average US adult was only able to answer about half correctly, displaying a lack of basic factual knowledge about Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism and what the U.S. Constitution says when it comes to religion and elected officials. The quiz contained 14 questions about the Bible and Christianity, and 13 covering other world religions.

Interestingly, it was Jews, atheists, and agnostics that knew the most about religion, significantly outperforming Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons. On average, Jews, atheists, and agnostics were able to correctly answer 3 more questions than Christians. And within Christian sub-groups, Evangelicals and Catholics performed better than Mainline Protestants and Mormons.

Survey Says...

Most respondents amongst all religious groups scored well on most of the Christian questions. Nearly all respondents knew what Easter commemorates. On Biblical figures, four-in-five respondents knew who Moses and David were.

However, not every answer about Christianity came so easily. Only 22% of respondents knew what prosperity gospel is, and only one-in-three knew what Catholics believe about Communion.

Respondents scored even worse on basic knowledge of non-Christian religions.

Only three-in-ten U.S. adults know when the Jewish Sabbath begins, fewer still knew what Rosh Hashana is. And only 18% of Americans could identify one of Buddhism's four "noble truths".

Still, on nearly every question about religion, atheists were the most or second-most knowledgeable on basic religious beliefs. On some questions about Christianity, atheists actually knew more than Christians. For example, 87% of atheists knew that the Holy Trinity is the belief that there is one God in three persons, compared to 84% of Christians. And 70% of atheists knew what purgatory is, compared to 57% of Christians (although 71% of Catholics answered that question correctly).

And when it comes to knowledge of world religions, atheists and Jews blew other groups out of the water.

82% of atheists know that Islam's holiest city is Mecca, compared to 60% of Christians. And 69% of atheists know yoga is associated with Hinduism, compared to just 44% of Christians. Jews, similarly, scored higher than Christians on questions about world religions.

How is it that atheists, in general, are more knowledgeable about religion than religious people?

Religious Test Required?

Perhaps the most shocking result to come from the religious survey is that just 27% of respondents correctly answered that the Constitution requires no religious tests to hold public office in the United States. 15% believe that the Constitution requires officeholders to affirm that their Creator endows all men with certain inalienable rights, and 12% believe that the Constitution actually requires officeholders to be sworn in on the Holy Bible.

While the Bible is by far the most common book used to swear members of Congress in, it is not the only book. Rep. Keith Ellison swore in on Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Quran in 2007. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard swore in on the Bhagavad Gita in 2013. And at the January 3rd, 2019 swearing-in of the 116th Congress, Congressional freshmen used more than a dozen different texts. At that ceremony, Sen. Krysten Sinema swore in on a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

And while atheists scored highest on the 'religious test' question than other groups, only about half of atheists knew that the Constitution requires no religious test for holding office in the United States. About one-quarter of Christians knew the correct answer, and about four-in-ten Jews.

This isn't the first time Pew Research Center has had some shocking insights about America's relationship with religion. Last year we posted about a Pew survey that showed that America's fastest-growing religious group wasn't Christians, Jews, or Muslims. It was those with no affiliation at all.

What do you think? Why are atheists more knowledgeable about religion than other groups? And how is it that so few Americans know that the Constitution requires no religious test?

You might want to take the following corresponding religious survey to see exactly where you stand. Make sure to let us know how you did. Any perfect scores out there?

78 comments

  1. Larry Copeland's Avatar Larry Copeland

    Good question s

  1. Dan Atatakai's Avatar Dan Atatakai

    This does not surprise me at all. So many current atheists USED to be Christian or that of other religions. What changed their mind against their one-time held theology is actually studying it. So many who stay in some religions go without even reading the "holy writings" or learning much, outside of what other people have told them.

    The second issue is that so many people of religion tend to want to tell atheists how "terrible they are" instead of accepting their perception of the issue at hand, i.e., a belief in a deity.

    1. Pastor B Stevens's Avatar Pastor B Stevens

      They became atheist after studying the church and actions they see that are wrong flat out lying leadership . As did I leave the church and I was a lifer ...a pastor , missionary , no more of that Yĕhowshuwa is the actual savior not Jesus that name was created by white Europeans the Catholic Church . Now days politics and certain bigger churches mix together demanding people close their minds and study no other ideals . ????

      1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

        Rome was not all White Europeans..I'm starting to look at the word White as a racist term..

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          Another good word is Caucasian, which relates to Caucasoids.

          1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

            I'm proud to be an all-American mutt. And my religious, spiritual life path is very eclectic, and accepting of others of all paths.

        2. Lulu Nash's Avatar Lulu Nash

          We should be greatful that our GOD loved all colors . and remember GOD made us ALL. But people are not seeing past their own selves. We definitely need UNITY or our world will only get worse. We are put here with free will so we all need to fix this mess ! GOD is watching with shame. We need to lead with LOVE not greed or hate. Wake me up im dreaming this. ??

        3. James Stark's Avatar James Stark

          The word "white" within the context of mankind has become a racist term. The word is a general sweep of a group identity and accusatory of a certain people type.

          What happened to the old song..."red and yellow, black and white; all are precious in His sight..."?

        4. Dr. Griffith's Avatar Dr. Griffith

          European American

    2. Christian's Avatar Christian

      Religion pop quiz trivia has little or nothing to do with maintaining a real relationship to Loving Kindness.
      If you are injured, do you want a lecture from an expert in the law, or do you want a kind caring nurse & doctor to help save your life & help you recover and be healthy again ? The quiz does not ask any questions about Christianity, only about religion.

      1. Emirokel's Avatar Emirokel

        If I was injured, I would want someone who knows medicine forwards and backwards, not someone who knows less than someone who is not a nurse or doctor. Nice try, but you failed to make a convincing point.

  1. Allen Alexander's Avatar Allen Alexander

    Not a 'perfect score', but then I don't claim to be perfect. In my quest to lead a Christian life, I have studied other religions and have found many similarities. Not particularly amazing considering there is only one God, no matter what name is ascribed to Him. If everyone took a little time to try and understand others and where they come from; there would be much less strife in OUR world. I guess it is just too easy to call each other names and judge others by their skin color. I find for the most part it is people who claim to be Christians are the ones who do just that. One of my employers who teaches a Sunday School class has the most foul mouth and though he claims not to be is a racist. My mother would have said that he is acting like the cowboy preacher, "Do as I say, not as I do". I on the other hand have always preferred to live my life as an example to others, but without the bluster. My wife and my step children are my greatest reaping of my life. When I met my now wife, her two teenage children were dispirited and without faith. Now they are in their mid thirties and know the truth and value of time spent daily in prayer and of service to others. Wishing everyone a great weekend, Allen

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    I've spent five years studying the Christian bible. Doing so caused me to become pagan. I've had to correct friends of mine who are "devout Christians" but don't know what's actually in the book they love to wave around. I would posit most of us non-Christians are much the same - we've studied it and found it to be fairy tales for uneducated people.

    1. Christian's Avatar Christian

      I am a Christian and I Love Pagans !

      I apologize, but I do still object to animal or human sacrifices.
      No blood loss, no problem. But in the spirit of Jesus, I can not support death penalty to any harmless animal, lambs & people included. :-)

      Although I support all person's free will choice if they would like to be vegan, or omnivore. That is a personal choice, to eat only plants or eat creatures too... If you can find a good nutrition, Vegan diet you enjoy and keeps you healthy, then do that if you please. Many human people must eat meat to stay healthy because of their medical conditions.

      All animals value their own lives just as much as we value our own lives too !

      Peace, Happiness & good health too All. :-)

      1. Mary Shaw's Avatar Mary Shaw

        What medical conditions require people to eat meat? This one is new to me. I have heart disease and other health issues and the only advice to me as a vegetarian is to not go all the way (Vegan)

  1. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

    A theistic example that trickle down doesn't.

  1. Skye Riversong's Avatar Skye Riversong

    I got 15/15. It was not a hard test! Good Lord, under what rock are people living?

    1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

      They are living under mental slavery and dont even know it.

    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      Well, I've been away from biblical studies and Christianity for many years, and try to not even think about it, so I'm not surprised I got an 11. That was still above average, and not bad for a 56 year old white man with some college.

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        Since all Christians have to do is accept Jesus as their lord and savior to be Christians, and a very small percentage of them have any religious training, or instructions on how to read and interpret their only holy book (the bible), I'm surprised they scored as high as they did. Some other religions require training just to get in the door. Take the Pagan life path of Wicca for instance. I didn't become Wiccan by simply reading a book on the subject, and accepting Wiccan beliefs. I had a year and a day of training, and a very well qualified Wiccan mentor throughout (and many years after), before I was initiated. And initiation means, to begin.

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          I've never met a stupid atheist, as opposed to many of the Christians I've known. And most of the atheists I've known were formerly religious extremists, who seemed to know their religions better than anyone else, so I'm not surprised they would score high on a religious knowledge test. Their lack of belief probably came from thinking about religion too much.

        2. Mary Shaw's Avatar Mary Shaw

          To believe is just that, you don't have to read books or be initiated to be a believer. I am Christian only because I am a good person but not a Christian in this sense of the word. I'm a believer because I've experienced enough to know He exists and that's good enough for me. Sorry if this doesn't cover this posts conversation.

  1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

    This confirms my hypothesis that atheists are actually the least dedicated to their belief than most run of the mill religionists because they know more about the concept of orthodox deity than their primary assertion would indicate.

    1. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

      Actually, most atheists know about the concepts of orthodox deities because we've been former "religionists" who studied our religions in great detail and found them to be nonsensical. Knowledge about doesn't equate to belief in. I have vast knowledge of the Abrahamic religions. I also have vast knowledge about the TV show Friends and ancient Greek mythology and Avery Shaw book series by Amanda Lee.

    2. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      My stepfather is a devout atheist who started out being a member of Central Christian Disciples Of Christ, even though he's been happily married to my still and always devout Catholic mother for going on forty four years. And he's a member of a group of atheist that meets once a week. And he's a retired special education teacher, with a master's degree in that. So he's not a dummy. Atleast not otherwise.

  1. Pastor Lyle Stevens's Avatar Pastor Lyle Stevens

    Not surprised the US worship a blue eyed blond haired prince that’s a fact . They even have this savior named Jesus that’s NOT HIS NAME it’s Yĕhowshuwa deeply embedded in eastern text . America has in the last 300 years created a new savior this Jesus . I was once a US Christian served in the missionary , studied in several world wide belief systems which is highly forbidden especially in the US . Judaism was one I studied and to study this branch of religion one must become aquatinted with the Jewish people ...whom for the bigger part are wonderful people . I would have joined the Jewish faith but I’m not Jew thus in their belief all other people’s are here to serve them by old script ....basically infidels or salves which ever you choose . I settled on being a humanist spiritualist where we worship gods creation not man or some dreamed up men of religion what we coin the Christian Game here in America . God bless to all whom believe in something anything good will be blessed . Currently in the USA evangelical leadership are leading their flock straight to their own ideal of hell . Some are finally rebuking these leaders some have flat gone on their own way bruised and abused by a faith they once truly believed in . American youth have enough information out there in the last 20 years at their finger tips so much so if your caught in certain Baptist backed evangelical groups you will be tossed out of the congregation . My poor grandmother served her church as they say religiously . Her entire life was for her to serve gods greatest commandment love all people . Her husband my grand dad was a Pentecostal minister then jumped to the Church of Christ . At the end of her life at the age of 77 years on this planet the church ejected her from her own church ....reason she was not attending enough nor handing over more cash to that system . Imagine how she was crushed ? Her last couple of years were full of failing health that’s the time her church should have been at her door . She simply could not attend S much as she dearly wanted to so we had church in her home twice a week until the creator called her home . See people this is the garbage out there today you must pay money to be a part of modern American Christianity . If you can’t afford to pay lots of cash your thrown to the side . If there is a Hod above and a hell the majority of evangelical followers will be there pretty quickly because 70 years of human life I but a bling in time . Kudos to the Jewish faith they don’t throw away their sick and elderly loved ones the way American churched o today . Yea yea I hear you there are still a few very few that will not throw away their flock based on inability to pay up cash to a preacher whom makes a living PREACHING . OUR YOUTH HAVE SEEN THIS AND ARE REJECTING YOUR EVIL WAYS .

    1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

      Well said..I'm a survivor from Christianity..and very happy. Namaste

      1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

        Let's torch the Vatican, and crucify the pope!!! And the bible only makes good rolling papers.

        1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

          That is just another form of the same ole logical faux pas. Catholicism has almost nothing to do with the Bible.

    2. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      Jesus's "name" was and remains "Son of God". Or in modern vernacular...."Godson". His first name is irrelevant. The Bible is highly patriarchal and a name was the patriarchal surname. Isa 9:6 is the best example of this...."his name shall be called" is the patriarchal equivalent to "and he shall be the SON of". Ie...Son of the everlasting Father. Which does NOT mean he was some type of hybridized deity

  1. Ben's Avatar Ben

    Christians have zero knowledge of the teachings of Christ - who taught acceptance & love your neighbor. Christians hate everything: LBGTQs, immigrants, other religions, women, Democrats, etc. They love children though, as evidenced by all those pedophile priests.

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      How ignorant to equate religion as a political party. Yet put a cross in the wrong spot and you same kids scream separation is needed. Hypocrite

    2. Ed's Avatar Ed

      And how about the Arabs, who have "child brides" as young as 8, and in parts of Africa, still have open air slave markets?

      And how about Muslim dominated nations, like Iran, that will publicly execute people for the mere crime of "being gay."

      And ever read the bible, where God says a man laying with another man, or woman doing the same, is something God doesn't approve of, to say the least?

      1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

        I wonder why that isn't ever brought up Mr. Ed?

    3. preacher richard h.'s Avatar preacher richard h.

      GOD The father is Unchanging , GOD is Love, GOD is Truth, GOD is Punishment, What was a SIN in the beginning IS a SIN Today and will be SIN for Eternity , Gods word is TRUTH , GOD Doesn't change because people have grown to reject the rules an live in the flesh instead of the spirit. Churches that now accept sin as common place are NOT Houses of LORD CHRIST But are Gathering Houses of Mans law n Rule an The LORD will not hear their prayers ,They will be cast out of GODS GRACE because they reject GODS WORD. You say Jesus taught acceptance & love thy neighbor ,Yes I'll agree. But accept them for what they are Lost in SIN n to Love thy neighbor Jesus taught to Tell them when they are in sin 3'xs but if they wont listen an accept the holy spirit to Get away from them or they may drag you into their Sinful ways. Accepting Does NOT mean Condoning an act or lifestyle. GODS Word will be the same in the beginning as it will when Heaven an earth pass away but GOD will not CHANGE.

      1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

        Jesus did not teach acceptance. He taught REPENTANCE.

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          If Jesus existed he didn't have time to cover it all. There was a lot left for us to figure out on our own. It starts with a healthy, moral conscience. The rest falls in place.

          1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            Morality is defined by old testament law. Without the law and consequently without God there is no such thing as morality.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Many are so indoctrinated that they just take the Bible for granted and rarely look at it, and if they do look at it, they don't understand it.

    ?♥️

  1. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

    I'm an atheist because the Southern Baptist Church, the religion of my childhood, is based entirely on lies. The "logic" contortions they go through to justify their beliefs and practices are staggering.

    1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

      That is false atheism dear. That religion is clearly false as you say. However that does not negate the validity of the Bible. It merely shows how religion has twisted the text to fit it's own agenda. Reject the agenda and maintain what you and in general humanity intuitively acknowledge which is existence over non-existence.

      1. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

        No, it's true atheism. I do not believe in any gods at all. The catalyst for me becoming an athiest was specifically Christianity.

        1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

          belief is irrelevant Wendy. And your logic is flawed. Rejecting Christianity (I agree that it is a false religion...so kudos) does not negate the existence of God.

          1. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

            Belief is everything when it comes to religion. Your opinion is different from mine. I'm sure mine is correct. You're sure yours is correct. I'm an atheist. You're not.

          2. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            Do you not acknowledge the existence of reality beyond your understanding? Of course you do. No sane person thinks they know everything. Yet there is no proof in such an acknowledgment. It is simply intuition. To not acknowledge even the possibility of God contradicts all other intuitive perspectives you make is a contradiction. I put it to you that you are being a hypocrite.

          3. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

            Intuition led medieval doctors to treat people based oh "humors" and to use plants shaped like a diseased organ to treat the disease. It also led people to think that the sun revolved around the earth. Reality beyond my understanding? Only because I haven't studied all aspects of physics in depth. Reality that contradicts all other reality (i.e. the existence of gods)? Definitely not.

          4. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

            Wendy....that's ignorance sweetie. Not intuition. By your response it's clear you limit reality to nothing greater than physical matter when intuition universally sets no limit of any such kind. To do so would place your perceived reality within an infinity of nothingness and by contrast such reality becomes infintismally insignificant. Meaning you yourself do not exist. Your logic is thus flawed.

          5. Wendy's Avatar Wendy

            Haha! This just keeps getting more and more hilarious the longer it goes on. However, because of your condescending tone, I'm not playing with you anymore. Peace out.

    2. William Waugh's Avatar William Waugh

      Same here for the Southern Baptist Convention. It would be horrifying to calculate the numbers among them that are bible thumping Trump-ettes. If you ever wonder where all the uneducated white males hail from. .....there they are!

      1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

        The Left is just as Crazy as the Right...The only good candidate was Trump..Follow our contitution..The word White is a racist term...The correct word is European American.

        The Dems have became as hypocritical as the Reps...

    3. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      I can't imagine how anyone could quit believing in a creator based on disdain for a particular religion. There are plenty of other religions to choose from, and one doesn't have to belong to or believe in any religion at all to believe in a creator or god. And if that is too great of a task, you might find it best to at least believe in a power greater than yourself. You know, like an HP.

      1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

        Buddhism dose not Beleive in a creator..To me believing in a creator is give up my faith and hope and giving to an imaginary friend. God to my is nothing more than Good Orderly Direction..It benefits all.

        1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

          Buddhism is not a religion, although many think it is. It is simply a way of being. I studied that for a few years, too. At least our government deck ognizes it as a religion now, and Wicca too, which is really more of a Pagan life path. However, we don't want to baffle or confuse them. The I've come a long way in accepting it as a religion, and that's good enough for me. What they don't know won't hurt them. I find it best to keep it simple, and go with the flow.

  1. G Dobson's Avatar G Dobson

    I encourage all Americans to actually read the Constitution and its amendments. It is available freely online and a $1 handbook with footnotes from Amazon. We seriously need an informed electorate. As far as religions, everyone should read the holy scriptures (Bible [old and new testaments], Tanakh, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain all have some overlap with Hindu). Read without preconceived notions, without apologists "explanations". Read for yourself, content and context, with an open mind. You may be amazed.

    1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      You're wasting your breath, Gail. It's not going to happen. Most Americans won't even read Mueller's report (and I haven't gotten around to it iether). Do you really think they'll read the holy books of other religions, and interpret them correctly. They do a bad enough job of misinterpreting their own holy book. I think we had better accept that the vast majority, even at their best effort, are going to remain ignorant. So, it might be best to ignore them, and go about our merry ways, before it leads us to start singing the theme song from MASH.

  1. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON's Avatar John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON

    15/15, from a former Presbyterian Seax pagan.

    1. preacher richard h.'s Avatar preacher richard h.

      that's great I had 14 0f 15.

  1. Lea Weisenbach's Avatar Lea Weisenbach

    I'm a survivor from Christianity..I personally don't like labels and find you can call yourself anything..Being it is another. The word God is different for everyone...And as far as I'm concerned..God has no religion and spiritualism is as personal quest.

    People always viewed ma as a Atheist and I was very much abused because of it by such good Christian people. I was always blamed some something as just like blaming the devil..I never stood quite but I did pick my battles. It took sometime to heal and learn how to stand for myself...In an educated way.

    I have the right to my personal spiritualism..The 3 R's are a great place to start..Respect for ones self..Respect of others..And take Responsibility for ones own actions...I wish we would teach this in school and learn how to treat each other. We all will not agree...Thats America..Where the individual of freedom of thought is so important..We are a secular country for a reason..We can not have freedom of religion with out freedom from religion..Our Fire Fathers new so well in their foresight. Namaste

    1. Carl Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Elfstrom

      G.O.D.means good orderly direction, and then, according to hermetic philosophy and Hermes Trismegistus, there is The All.

  1. The Doctor's Avatar The Doctor

    12/15 wont deny I flubbed a couple of the jewish specific and a catholic one. Still over all this article does not surprise me one bit. Ive had similar things expressed in theological discussions with hard line traditions who are surprised when I know something about the history of their faith they are often entirely unaware of.

    That is of course the difference between someone actually choosing to study and learn things vs someone indoctrinated at a very young age and told what to think and believe and then told dont think about it too hard or look to deeply into the facts.

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Christianity is based upon the Teachings of Yahshua Messiah, not mythology.

    Yahshua, 'Jesus', teaches a simple and clear message to request his followers to follow The Way of Love.

    Loving Compassion & Mindful Mercy. Describing himself as the witness to truth, and teaching people to live & work in a spirit of truth.

    No magic, just mercy. The Good Samaritan Story is the entire gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Love one another by being kind and healing and helping.

    That doesn't require any mythology at all. Just Empathy, good humor, and friendliness. The ultimate in customer service !

    Christianity is both the easiest 'religion' the most challenging, because it simply asks you love all Beings, love your Self, love enimies and create new friendships, and most importantly love Loving Kindness will all your heart, mind, body, strength, soul, and spirit.

    Easy ! :-)

  1. kimberly's Avatar kimberly

    Christianity teaches that Jesus was God. It is a false religion.

    1. Ren R's Avatar Ren R

      Any religion that teaches Jesus is not God is a false religion.

  1. Sean's Avatar Sean

    I'm going to step out on a limb here and say most Christians never saw this useless survey because they were busy living their lives. More divisiveness designed to foster discord and and arguments.

  1. Ren R's Avatar Ren R

    I missed one - don't remember what the four noble truths of Buddhism are. Oops.

  1. Melissa S's Avatar Melissa S

    I consider myself an agnostic and scored 14 out of the 15 questions on the quiz found at the end of the article. In my experience, those that consider themselves agnostic and atheist have explored different religions more than some that have been raised and stayed within a single religion. This would naturally enable them to score higher on the surveys.

  1. E's Avatar E

    15/15.

    I’m part of the statically significant nonbelievers who spent several decades deeply involved in more structured Christian faith expression. Raised very devout, then attending a Bible College, serving in ministry leadership or pastoral roles for my entire adulthood. But it was in my diving deeper into the study of the Bible and the histories of churches/denominations/cults/religion that led me out of Christianity. I know it very well. That’s exactly why I can’t believe in it anymore.

  1. Jacqueline Bell's Avatar Jacqueline Bell

    10/15 Very interesting. I am Methodist.

  1. Bernadine Rider's Avatar Bernadine Rider

    Okay, 15/15 here. These seemed to be pretty basic questions for anyone who has any interest at all in faith paths. That, or I’m more of a bookworm than I thought.

  1. JG's Avatar JG

    I was raised Methodist. To be blunt, I had issues with the teachings as a child, and refused confirmation at the age of 13. I found, and still find nothing absolute about the bible, just questions it could not answer. I stumped the preachers regularly. I've looked at other religions, and found no Ultimate Truths in any of them.

    And for all the issues I had 40 years ago, I have many more now. I have found the Methodist church has changed greatly, and, in my own experience, to have become frankly hateful. I have found religion as a whole to be the cause of far more problems than it has ever solved. I do not deny the good deeds many churches have accomplished. I have simply found those good deeds to be far and away outdone by the evils committed by the massively flawed man made institution of organized religion.

    If, gun to my head, I was forced to choose a label, it would be agnostic with humanist leanings. I do believe in something higher, something better. God, the Universe, I don't know. I do my very best to live by the golden rule, treat people how you wish to be treated. Bible or not, it's just, simply, a good idea.

    Last year, my mother (who is DEVOUTLY Methodist) and I had a huge argument about religion. Over the last twenty odd years, I've watched her go deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. What they taught in church when I was younger has NOTHING to do with what they teach now.

    Yet, still preaching from that same mis translated, massively open to interpretation book.

    The beliefs she's clinging so desperately to these days I found profoundly disturbing.

    The church keeps changing and evolving, in ways both bad and good. But here's the thing: if the bible truly is an Absolute, as so many claim, then how is that evolution possible? How is it that you can go to a Methodist, a Baptist, a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Presbyterian church, etc, all of which teach the from the same book, yet none can agree on how to interpret it? How is that Absolute?

    Faith? Sorry, I call that blind faith. The only Absolute is that everything, even the Universe, ends. We all have to choose what we do with our own blink of the eye in Time.

    My faith? Be a decent human being. Plain and simple. Religion? Pfffft. The only way to know the truth of what happens in the end will be when end comes. And I'm in no hurry to get there. Many will disagree with this. Many will state that becauseof their religion that they KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt what will happen. I'm sorry, but profound belief does not equal knowledge.

    For the record, on the 15 question survey, I got 12 out of 15. I'd love to take the bigger survey, simply out of curiosity.

    I write this simply to state my own personal experience and opinion. You can agree or not, it will not change who I am.

    I wish you all well.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    I got 14\15. Missed the one about a Budhist truth.

    1. Rev. John a mccormick's Avatar Rev. John a mccormick

      Me too, I think we both wanted to think happy thoughts instead of remembering the 4 truths. My only excuse is I studied Zen Buddhism.

  1. Rev. John a mccormick's Avatar Rev. John a mccormick

    Before I saw this I just happened to write an opinion piece about HATE (the recent mass shootings) and pointed out that most of the Christians I know out here in the middle of the country follow the Old Testament for their ethics, ignoring Leviticus of course, while praising Jesus and ignoring his ethics. "Should we hate the haters, or hate their twisted actions?" https://t.ly/8vn0

  1. Rev. John a mccormick's Avatar Rev. John a mccormick

    I'm humiliated. I just took the 15 question version of the Pew survey and I only got 14 right and I had communicated with His Holiness's staff and reviewed his book "Beyond Religion" but still got a Buddhism question wrong.

  1. Secretary3rd's Avatar Secretary3rd

    Jews have 600 commandments from God. Christians have a hard time with 10. Afterlife2 Org has handle these questions many times for its members. "Treat upon others as Mother will treat you". Most know right from wrong and if you do wrong Hell shall be now on earth. Most get the point.

  1. Reb TK's Avatar Reb TK

    This was not at all surprising...but it was very entertaining! There has always been a problem with fact and fiction and the "in between." I am constantly coming across people who think they know what they are talking about. When I was younger and had more energy and less sense, I would engage them in a debate. Now that I am older, have more sense and less energy, I don't even care to engage them, unless their facts are so outrageously out of bounds that their take on history, culture and the ever evolving truths of science (especially archeology, anthropology, and sociology) need to be confronted. A simple example: a co-worker, a highly capable, highly educated teacher in our school, great with the kids, very structured, very involved, a lovely person, and she has my highest regard.And yet, she gets a bit "muddled" when her faith intersects...well... reality. When assigned to teach social studies to middle schoolers studying the middle east, she used Christian scriptures to present Egyptian history, the Exodus, and etc. as the "history" of Egypt and remember certain events as though these events were solid fact. Old stories are told, and sometimes written so that people can remember and learn. But this is not "history," or "historically accurate" especially as we learn more and more about humanity's ever-evolving and changing past. Subsequently, my colleague teaches math. She is an excellent, excellent math teacher and then some. I respect her commitment to her faith, but it is a bit blind in a lot of areas...and dead wrong in others. Which is why, as an old (er) jew I will leave some of the most solid advice the teacher "Jesus" ever left... and it was this "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and render unto G-D... you know the rest! Peace Out...tk

  1. Greg's Avatar Greg

    Missed one. Not too bad.

  1. Robin White's Avatar Robin White

    I got them all right. Every Christian should know the main points of every major religion in the world!!! How can we possibly minister to someone if we have no idea who they are and what they believe? There are dozens of great “Comparative Religion” books out there, from a basic bulletined brochure to deep thinking philosophy. We have to know! Paul became all things to all people to save some...” No, he didn’t become other religions, but he also wasn’t intimidated on “Mars Hill.” He knew the basics of his religions of the world - different names today; though, the only the names have really changed. Christians - especially ministers and those who profess to be teachers need knowledge! Let’s get some. I got them all correct, and there is no reason every Christian shouldn’t!! Sincerely, And with the love of Christ, Robin

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