Nicholas Kristof Slams Atheists’ Religious Literacy in New York Times Column

In his New York Times column today, Nicholas Kristof writes about religious illiteracy in our country and makes this surprising statement:

Secular Americans are largely ignorant about religion, but, in surveys, religious Americans turn out to be scarcely more knowledgeable.

He doesn’t cite any surveys, but I can, and the results are precisely the opposite. Despite overall low scores, Secular Americans know more about religion than any religious group.

A 2010 Pew Forum U.S. Religious Knowledge survey asked Americans 32 questions about the beliefs of various faiths and Atheists/Agnostics scored higher than any other group:

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Surprise! Americans Overwhelmingly Want to Keep “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance

In what may be the most unnecessary poll I’ve seen in a long time, LifeWay Research asked Americans whether or not they prefer to keep “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and — *gasp*they overwhelmingly said yes:



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If Trends Continue, Christians Will Soon Dip Below 50% of the Population in Australia

According to the Australian research firm Roy Morgan Research, by this time next year, non-Christians in the country may out-number Christians for the first time:



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New Study Shows That Even Atheists Think Atheists Are Immoral

Psychologist Will Gervais has done quite a bit of research involving the perception of atheists in society. In 2011, he and his colleague explained that people harbored anti-atheist sentiments in large part because they didn’t trust us. (Surprise!)

Gervais has just published his latest research in PLOS ONE showing, through a series of experiments, that atheism is virtually synonymous with immorality in the minds of many people. And the way he shows that link is deviously clever.

Here’s what he did for his first experiment:

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When It Comes to Hate Crimes, Atheist Victims Are Rare

One of the most disheartening facts to come out of the shootings in Overland Park, Kansas, where a former KKK leader murdered three people at a Jewish community center, is that hate crimes against Jewish people are hardly uncommon.

In fact, notes Tobin Grant of Religion News Service, “Anti-Jewish hate crimes are the most common religious hate crime in the United States.”

Obviously, any number is too high, but those results (from a 2012 FBI report) are surprising to me for a couple of reasons: I never would have predicted Jews would be the victims of hate crimes at a higher rate than Muslims. And I didn’t realize atheists were so rarely victimized.

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