Last year, the New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof wrote about religious illiteracy, and told the world that secularists know next to nothing:
Secular Americans are largely ignorant about religion.
To be fair, he didn’t have a very positive impression of religious Americans’ knowledge, either, but the slam against secularist ignorance wasn’t just gratuitous, it was wrong. In truth, back in 2010, a 32-question Pew survey on U.S. religious knowledge asked respondents about the beliefs of various faiths. The highest-scoring group? Atheists and agnostics.
As Hemant wrote in his rebuttal,
We don’t accept the Bible because we’ve actually read it. We don’t buy into an idea like consecrated Communion wafers being the body of Christ because we’re unafraid of looking at the ritual with a critical eye. We know the power that religion has in this world and it scares the shit out of us. You can’t counter it unless you understand it.
Kristof just put up a quiz of his own, in his latest column, focusing on the differences and similarities between Christianity and Islam. I got 12 out of 14 questions right, and I suspect that other secularists will, on the whole, do pretty well also. (My two wrong answers at least got the faith right, if not the correct books within the Bible or the Qur’an.)
Click on over to Kristof’s quiz, and when you’ve answered the questions, leave the Times a little note in the comments mentioning your non-belief in gods. Not to brag, just to set the record straight.
I’m with Hemant:
When it comes to religious literacy, my money’s on a random atheist over a random theist any day of the week.
P.S. Never mind leaving a comment on the newspaper’s website. At mid-afternoon today, Times editors closed the comments section for Kristof’s article.
(Image via Shutterstock)