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LINK Americans — not just liberals — have a religious literacy problem - Vox

An interesting read, pointing out the numerous gaps in religious education among Americans. It also mentions that liberal agnostics and atheist have a better understanding of religion than conservative Christians and explains how religion is (mis)used in politics and social issues.
Here's the link, I'm told it didn't share.

Jess2zz 5 July 22

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Why do we need to have religious education? Who cares? Most people in the world cannot solve a simple first order linear equation. We don't need to study superstitions.

zesty Level 7 Apr 8, 2019

I think it depends on the purpose of study. Personally, I find religion to be a useful tool in studying history, sociology and sometimes economics. Societies were often shaped by religious beliefs, and they/we still are. This is very different than studying religion for the sake of practice, which I don't feel has a place in public education.


That is because atheists evaluate a religion before leaving it.


I wonder why, if religious literacy is such a problem, more isn’t done to fight on religious issues amongst religious candidates and parties. I mean, the American Right is mostly based around the religious groups, and people vote that way for reasons of religious affiliation right? So why not try and hoist them with their own petard and try and create some religious division.

I asked my very Christian cousin a similar question, knowing part of the answer. The bible says to stay out of politics. True Christians don't touch it, they focus on helping the community and being as Jesus like as possible.
She isn't happy or impressed with the religious right and is aware of how far off from the bible they are. But her faith keeps her from getting into "man's law".
So there's the trick. The good ones won't fight back (I'm not even sure what that ratio is). And all the far right politicians gotta do is play on these fake Christians fear and hatred. Who would fix it?


Having been a cristian, born again with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I don't think I need a course in Comparative Religion to know that religion has always been used to separate people, rather than joining them together. There are VERY FEW exceptions to this rule.

One day, it's my hope that all people will be able to get along together without the pitfalls and other traps of religion. How many wars have been fought in the name of god? How many have died because they weren't the "right religion"? How many crimes against Humanity have been justified because of religious beliefs? We could go on and on, ad nauseum with questions like this that no one has any accurate answers. The bottom line is this: We're all fucked unless we band together to raise the consciousness of Humanity! If the language offends anyone here, sorry, but it's the only term that applies. It was meant to offend those that would try to control others with the BULLSHIT of religion.

I completely agree with you. But I'd take the course. To avoid the trappings of religion you have to understand it. Plus, as you said, it's caused wars and divisions and all sorts of things. Things that have shaped our history.
Basically, I wouldn't take a religious class for the sake of practice, but for understanding.

@Jess2zz Today, we have the internet. We can use it to research anything, including religious beliefs around the World. You don't need a college course to do that. You just need to know how to understand what you read. And, as far as I can tell, the people on are intelligent enough to do that.

@AncientNight it's no insult to any persons intelligence or the ability nor option to do research solo. I like class structure, it tendsto focus me better and it blocks the time to study. Also, I like that it would come with classmates questions and opinions along with live discussion.

@Jess2zz Everyone learns in their own way. They used to offer FREE education to seniors, but no more. I couldn't afford the tuition, so I have to rely on myself to get educated. Being on a fixed income really sucks!

@AncientNight I'm sorry to hear they got rid of that programme. Everyone should be able to keep their minds strong and maybe debate a bit. Self education takes a lot of focus, I commend you on that. Education it's ridiculously expensive and it shouldn't be that way.

@Jess2zz Most other countries have free college education. It seems like the US is behind the times and putting our citizens behind the Eight Ball. That's one reason that I put in a write-in vote for Bernie Sanders!

@AncientNight I'm not sure we are behind by accident. The ignorant are easy to manipulate. I voted for Sanders in the primaries, for a few reasons. The big one being that Clinton was too hated.

@AncientNight way to not be a lesser evil voter. I went with Jill Stein hoping to get enough votes to force the green party in to debates but anyone who wouldn't lower their standards to vote for Trump or Hillary are the few smart ones left.

@jorj 2016 was my wife's last election to vote in. We talked about it extensively and came to the conclusion that a write-in vote for Bernie Sanders was the way to go. Now, look at the mess we're in. It's going to take DECADES to clean up the mess created by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! And I'm not talking about Voldamort!

@AncientNight got to make a stand sooner or later. No matter when this happened the cry babies would still be voter shaming. Only way to get change is to vote change in and I did my part. It's the others at fault here and nothing anyone can say will change my mind.

@jorj Someone once said that you have to become the change you want to see. I think that person was a lot smarter than I'll ever be. The only support that I've given in the past was my votes on election days. I've come to the conclusion that I should get more involved with the political campaigns in my Congressional District (VA-CD1). It's my hope that as many as possible do the same. Now, I have to do some research to find out where and how I can help. I hope they don't demand money, because I'm on a fixed income, which, in itself, sucks.

@AncientNight there are some places that charge fees to run for office but I hope u can get thru without it. Good luck.

@jorj I wouldn't run for office, myself. I may, however, volunteer to work for the campaign of the woman that's running against the Republican incumbent. I don't think they charge any fees for that.

I think those in power, the decision makers are motivated more by personal greed than religious belief. They use religion to control the people, and convince them to do their bidding ie going to war.

@MsDemeanour Didn't Adolf Hitler do the same thing? He wrapped himself in the flag and used "the word of god" as his ammunition against Jews, Gypsies and those with physical and mental handicaps (among other groups). I feel that history is repeating itself here.


I think religion is the problem. Not whether or not people have read or understand some ancient book written by goat herders with a fifth grade education.

I think religion is a huge problem, but not for that reason. I think it's a problem because people not only live by it, but force others to. It's a problem because interpretation leaves a lot of room for manipulation and distraction. But, I can't ignore the fact that it goes hand in hand with history, directly and indirectly. It's been the driving force to war, means of power and even a guideline to eating practices. There is value in religious education for the purpose of understanding.


Not just liberals? It's not liberals who read their Bible with the same level of insight and comprehension as they read their Constitution. (And I say that as a right-leaning moderate)

Of COURSE Americans (especially Conservatives) have a religious literacy problem. And many have a literacy problem, full stop.

Ozman Level 7 July 22, 2018

I hope you read the full piece. It's tag line and even first few paragraphs leave it's bigger picture out of sight. I believe it made some of the points you may be making. Incomplete comprehension of religious teachings of Christianity and the bible. There's even less when factoring other religions.

@Jess2zz mate, I live in Yankland now. Read? We don't read here before arguing on the internet. 😉

@Ozman I'm old school, I guess. I read first. Have fun Yankin' away 😉

@Ozman all we need is the headline and we can infer the rest, right? Lol

@jorj Exactly!! LOL


religious education theres an oxymoron to cap them all

weeman Level 7 July 22, 2018

Aww come on, knowing it doesn't mean believing. I would totally take that class, if it was taught as insight into how people explained the things they just had no understanding of.


I think the reason atheist know more than any other group about worldwide Religions,, is to protect themselves.

Know thy enemy


Most effective way to create an athiest get someone to read the Bible

Simon1 Level 7 July 22, 2018

Most atheist I know went to religious schools.


Most atheists and agnostics are far more knowledgeable about religions, their "holy" books, and the histories of both, than those who claim to believe in them.
Actually, the majority of believers (in almost all religions) have virtually no real knowledge of the history of their belief systems.
They just suck up the dogma and think they "know better" than everyone else.


The link didn't share. ?

I fixed it, but just in case.


And we have Reagan to thank for this.

The creation of "C"hristianity instead of denominations dividing christianity came before Reagan if I'm not mistaken. Reagan destroyed the economy, yes, but what are u referencing to be Reagan's fault here?


No link?

weeman Level 7 July 22, 2018

I fixed it, but here you go.

@Jess2zz cheers 👍

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