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Monday, October 11, 2010

Comments

Frank

I would agree that it is too simplistic to attribute atheism to the decline in education. I think both are the result of the moral and cultural decline of Western civilization. When many want to indulge in pre marital sex and veg out playing video games and watch questionable entertainment why would they want to contemplate a faith system that condemns all that?

p.s. I wonder if a poll was taken that showed whether or not believers know more about atheism than atheists?!

Marguerite

Teaching CCD at a Catholic grammar school for over ten years, I was told by the Director of Religious Ed (a Sister) not to give tests to the students because "you can't test faith". Perhaps not, but you can test knowledge of the faith. I was also told not to mention hell in any of my classes because a parent complained about my saying that dying in unrepentent mortal sin will incur the pains of hell and this scared her child (or perhaps it scared her own conscience). Catholic religious education is is the problem.

Dan Deeny

Come on, Carl, Ms. Jacoby is too easy a target for you. Please aim higher in the future. Why not discuss the recent article in Inside Catholic about Archbishop Gomez and his support for illegal aliens.
But back to Ms. Jacoby. How would you turn her into a Christian Catholic?

LJ

I regret this dumbing-down of religion profoundly, because religious education is one of the most effective tools ever devised for creating religious skeptics.

I, for one, am willing to take that chance for the sake of the renewal of high quality religious education.

Jeff Miller

Amazing how the rational atheist who just relies on facts missed the facts about the so-called religion quit. I also aced it and I know that I would have been lucky to get half-a-dozen right when I was an atheist. It certainly was not theological quiz by any means with very few questions touching on the subject. More of a world religion quiz and one where apologists would be more prone to be able to answer fully. Plus the scores of atheists/agnostics were not close to acing this quiz - just there sample size did better than the other sample sizes.

No doubt religious education has been rather poor. I just don't buy the argument that atheists and agnostics generally are better versed as many have argued. For the most part I have not found agnostics to be more knowledgeable, just that they have not committed much thought to the subject to take a side. I have also found atheists generally ignorant on what they deny and make rather lame arguments as if they were the first ones to ever notice what seems to be an apparent contradiction. In my decades as an atheist I never took any effort to learn what religious believers believed and just dismissed them as follower of sky-Gods. I have not been impressed by Christopher Hitchens many debates as to his having any real knowledge on the subject other than cherry picking without seeing the larger gap in his own atheism. Sure there are those atheists/agnostics who are true searchers who inform themselves on world religions in order to try to find the truth - they are the minority and also the ones more likely to come to faith at some point.

S Henning

Call me suspicious but I think the whole survey was contrived to make it look as though it is more intellectual to be an atheist than a Christian. American Public Radio made a huge deal out of it.
As already pointed out, the survey didn't test anyone's real indepth knowledge of scripture or anyone's ability to reason why they believe the way they do.
Also, I appreciate Olson's observation that as our public education has declined so has the public's morals and religious based belief systems.
Even so, I will accuse the average professing Christian guilty of not adequately educating themself on what they believe and why they believe it. Our popular, tv saturated culture has caused a lot of brain atrophy and Christians have been a victim of it as well secular society.

Julian

"Its not that the Bible is full of contradictions. Its that the Bible contradicts them"

Manuel G. Daugherty Razetto

It is evident we can reasonably understand the true results of the never ending effort of those who have active enmity against the Church.

We see that the ones who act destructively towards Catholics progressively show more power, more training, more success at accusing and defaming us. The concerted attacks hitherto aimed at the Pope have a significant tone of disdain for what we hold dear and sacred. It is obvious we are an obstacle they abhor and we must, as well, become aware that we present the greatest danger in their path..

The Pew Forum, as others alike, is just an extremity of what the Holy Father rightfully has labeled as communism or marxism:"a shame of our times" and a "perfidius illusion" (Pope Benedict XVI- by Heinz Joachim Fischer, 2005, p.12), and should be treated as such.

The Apostolic duty resides within the body of the U.S. Episcopate to make sure the message of Truth, which comes directly from our Redeemer, not only opposes but proves the falsehood and ill intentions of these persistent attacks.

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