Atheists, Agnostics, Jews & Mormons Outscore Catholics & Protestants on Religious Knowledge

HopeTracker| The Pew Research Center has documented in multiple surveys that America is among the most religious of the world’s developed nations. Nearly six-in-ten U.S. adults say that religion is “very important” in their lives, and roughly four-in-ten say they attend worship services at least once a week.

Numerous Republican politicians — like Sharron Angle this moment on Hardball —  profess a desire to return America to God, running the US according to his laws. One hopes that this group knows what they’re talking about in planning America’s future, and yet atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons all scored higher on Pew’s new survey of religious knowledge, than they did.

Examples of questions that respondents got wrong about American life include whether or not teachers can teach from the Bible, as long as its “literary and historic” qualities make it part of a secular curriculum. Just 36% of the public knows that comparative religion classes may be taught in public schools.

Data from the survey indicate that educational attainment — how much schooling an individual has completed — is the single best predictor of religious knowledge. College graduates get nearly eight more questions right on average than do people with a high school education or less. Having taken a religion course in college is also strongly associated with higher religious knowledge. Read the entire Pew Research study.