Joel Grus, author of Your Religion Is False, tackles the problem of biblical illiteracy in connection with a survey which found that 50% of US high school seniors thought Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple.
The kids who think Sodom and Gomorrah were a married couple (not to mention the countless others who guessed “former WWE Tag Team Champions” and “tabletop strategy game” and “once-popular folk duo”) are surely unequipped to compete in today’s high-tech modern world!
How will they be responsible citizens if they’re not familiar with the story of how god destroyed both cities on account of their residents’ rampant homoerotic behavior? Can we trust them to figure out for themselves that a righteous manoffers up his virgin daughters when he needs to placate an angry mob? Will we fall economically farther behind Middle-Eastern countries where schools prepare kids with the knowledge that when god (or Boston) says “<a Don’t Look Back,” then if you don’t want to be turned into a pillar of salt you’d better listen? But it’s not just me. Professors of “Divinity” are also concerned![Divinity Professor Moore] identified a wide range of problems caused by a lack of religious understanding, including anti-Semitism and the equation of Islam with violence and terrorism. She said it also leads to the portrayal of religion as “obsolete, irrational and oppressive.”
And if the story of Sodom and Gomorrah doesn’t make people think of religion as relevant, rational, and congenial, then I don’t know what can!