The thing is, the questions were not that arcane.
A majority of Protestants, for instance, couldn't identify Martin Luther as the driving force behind the Protestant Reformation, according to the survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Four in 10 Catholics misunderstood the meaning of their church's central ritual, incorrectly saying that the bread and wine used in Holy Communion are intended to merely symbolize the body and blood of Christ, not actually become them.If you profess to believe in something, shouldn't you know what that something is?
Atheists and agnostics — those who believe there is no God or who aren't sure — were more likely to answer the survey's questions correctly. Jews and Mormons ranked just below them in the survey's measurement of religious knowledge — so close as to be statistically tied.
And it is nice to see someone who actually understands statistical calculations.
Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists were included in the survey, but their numbers were too small to be broken out as statistically significant groupsSmall numbers are always misleading, but that never stops people from building arguments (or even government policy) based on them.
But then these results are not surprising when you consider the abysmal state of Americans' knowledge of any subject.
For comparison purposes, the survey also asked some questions about general knowledge, which yielded the scariest finding: 4% of Americans believe that Stephen King, not Herman Melville, wrote "Moby Dick."That's just sad.