Most Americans can’t name the world’s five major religions, much less, tell you the tenents of thier faith. Christians aren’t excluded: “Christians in the United States are pretty abysmally ignorant about the religious traditions of the rest of the world” wrote Harvard religious studies professor Diana Eck. In 2004 , a study was done among high school students. Evangelicals were not able to identify “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” as a quote form the Sermon on the Mount. Religious illiteracy is rampant.
Religous ignorace led to an Indian sikh being shot in Arizon, just after 9/11. Religion has been banished from the public square, yet our country and citizens are overwhelmingly religious in practice. The American religious knowledge gap is not a stand alone problem; it has had a profound affect on political, social, and ethical issues in the US. In his book, Religious Illiteracy, Prothero argues that religious knowledge is necessary in order to be a good citizen.
Are you a “good citizen”?