Another Religion Survey

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on September 30, 2010

There is a survey by the oddly named Pew Forum about how much people know about religion. ( BTW, a pew is something you sit on in church. If you say PU after the preaching, you are paying attention.) The study shows that this group knows more about religion than that group. PG decided to take the test, and see what the fuss was about.

The quiz is 15 multiple choice questions, about a variety of religions. The multiple choice format makes grading easy, but allows for guesswork. Students learn how to narrow the possible choices, and make the guess more likely.

PG got an 80 the first time he took the test. Trying to recreate this today for purposes of this post, he got an 87. The 87 is better that 97% of the sample group that took the test.

The test is skewed to the Judeo-Christian experience. 9 of the 15 questions are about the Bible religions. 2 are about eastern religions, 2 are about Islam, and 2 are about Supreme Court rulings. The legal questions were prompted by Christian practices and The Bible, so the first category might be 11 of the 15. This includes a question about Mormonism, which some do not consider to be Christian. Whatever. (For purposes of this report, Catholics are considered Christians. )

What astonished PG was how easy the test was, and how many people missed obvious questions. 18% did not know Mother Teresa was Catholic. 49% did not know Joseph Smith was a Mormon , even with multiple choice. 54% did not know that Martin Luther inspired the Protestant Reformation.

It should be noted that the online quiz is different from the telephone survey. Many demographic questions are asked. If you are interested in the methodology, there seems to be plenty to look at. There are lots of statistics,  some of which are true. If you care what internet typists think, take a look around you. As Bessie Smith might say, “You’re in the right church brother, but the wrong pew.”

Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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