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The Daily Need

Test your religious IQ

Americans are almost as clueless about religion as we are about geography. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life asked 3,412 randomly chosen adults questions about everything from the golden rule to prayer in school, and found that the average person got only half right. Ironically, atheists and agnostics scored the highest, followed by Jews and Mormons.

How would you fare? Take the quiz to find out. And feel free to brag about your score in the comments section. I got 14 out of 15 (and have since read up on the First Great Awakening).

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  • David Cobb


  • Catherine

    14/15 also, missing the great awakening question. But might have missed a couple of others without reading an article on the results first. I wasn’t able to bring up the full 32 question survey when I tried and I think it’s important to have that information when interpreting what the results mean. I thought a lot of the questions were “trivial pursuit”-ish in nature.

  • Kiki

    14/15 I don’t find it ironic that atheists and agnostics would score the highest; I suspect they are the people who question (and therefore study) religion the most!

  • Kevin

    15/15 (although I guessed the last one). I agree, the believers never seem to need to learn, they just assume.

  • Jessica S.

    15/15 I’m a very active Roman Catholic and I’m in grad school.

  • Yarismann

    I went to Holy family high school, in Dix Hills Long Island. When we were freshman, they gave us a bible and told us not to read it, because we need a priest to give us instructions about what it says. Thats Hog wash.
    If you went to graduate school but didn’t look up how the Roman Catholic
    chuch began………….I don’t know
    My name is Jim BradLey and now live in Albany , Ny

  • Hollee J. Chadwick

    15/15 – My parents are both ministers and I studied Comparative Religions in high shcool – about 34 years ago!

  • DK

    I’m a practicing Catholic, traditional in belief, and scored 15 out of 15. Not surprising for someone who doesn’t inflate his own self-importance with the poisonous air of a smug and sophomoric skeptic.

  • DK

    Oh – and the test was a cakewalk.

  • Betsy Hanafi

    15/15 for me and I don’t subscribe to any particular religion. The questions were very basic.

  • sherry

    I don’t find it ironic that agnostics and atheists would have a high score. Frankly, because they spend alot of time trying to dispute any religion to establish conformation of their own beliefs.

  • Alan

    Not sure that’s true. Many of us are agnostic or athiest after a long search for truth through many religions.

  • AW

    If you know all those answers, then one would think that you are also smart enough to know that they are all just fairy tales… Hmmm….

  • AW

    Well, I’m sure not surprised that religious folk missed the most…After all… The more you believe, the less you think….

  • Genevieve

    i got a 15/15. i think it’s true what someone else said about it being really predictable that the ones who scored the best are the ones without religious affiliation or belief because we’re (they’re) the ones who question and seek answers. i know more about the religion my family follows (protestant christian) than they do! it’s pretty ridiculous.

  • jdk

    14/15, I am a devout Catholic.

  • Robert Shafer

    Your response leads me to believe your the smug one.

  • cp

    Why would anyone believe something without thinking, without knowing what it is they believe. That’s just dumb.

  • Danbqc

    I scored 12/15. From Canada. I’m atheist

  • B E Howard

    13/15 It’s curious that you separated the Catholics between Hispanic and White. To have been even more precise, Jehovah’s Witnesses should have been listed separately as well. They do not align themselves w/Catholics nor Protestants of Christendom, the counterfeits of Christiandom/Christianity. I don’t think I would have known ANY of the answers if I had stayed a Catholic, with which I grew up.

  • B E Howard

    It sounds like you’re alluding to the idea that Faith is blind. Indeed, Faith is NOT blind. The book itself which encourages the developement of such has the correct definition: “Faith is the ASSURED expectation of things hoped for, the EVIDENT DEMONSTRATION OF REALITIES though not beheld.”

  • Isaiah55

    I scored 15/15 I am a devout evangelical and mainline Protestant.

  • Barros Cramblit

    I had no idea about ‘The First Great Awakening” but I had a strong feeling it was NOT Billy Graham. Jewish Sabbath, I had a feeling it began Friday night but I went with Saturday anyway. You know what they say about trusting your first instinct.

    Non-theist, brought up Protestant and my father is a preacher.

  • Me

    I took the Religious patr of the test. I was shocked that the news stations are reporting that athesit and agnostics are scoring higher than other donominations. To me polls are bias. Who did you call? Out of 45 Questions only 15 deal with Religion. What does my phone use have to do with my religious knowledge? I passed 14/15. My friends I asked passed also. My friends that didn”t is soley based on education. I was raised Baptist/Catholic went to public and catholic school. I always had a yearning for learning, So I personally explored all the major religions. My Mom was good at that, she let me explore other religions. I know there is a God because I personally experienced Him/Her in my life. Until you experince God on a 1on 1 basis you have doubt. So I pray for all people of all nations that they may experience HIm/Her personally so that you to will believe. I am Christian. My experience came through my relationship with Jesus. Open your mind. Experience the Supreme,Divine whatever name you call him there is but One Creator.

  • Me

    I totally agree with the catholic upbringing. When my family became catholic. The first thing my Mom did was buy a catholic Bible which she wouldn’t let me read either or our Holy Bible(King James), until I was confirmed. I began to compare the 2. Found discreptpencies. Asked the Priest in my theology class and was told not to question his athourity or answers he gave. I grew up and personally saw things inmmoral things that contridicted God, informed the priest and was shewed away. I turned my back on Religion for years as a result and suffered greatly. Thank you Jesus He called me back to Him. Through Him my life changed.

  • Mealways46

    Pray that you are never Spititually attacked, you wouldn’t be though beacause you have no belief or Faith. But for reference if you ever are call on Jesus he will answer. Love you despite of your beliefs anywho :)

  • Antidumb

    Why is there a word for one who doesn’t claim to subscribe to the irrational tenets of a bad idea? We don’t have a word for people who do not murder. I am not a “non-murderer,” or an “Amurderer,” for example. I am also not an “Arapist” or “Non-thief,” nor am I a non-racist, an anti-homophobe, or an Arepublican. It is telling that our neurotic culture has a name for people who don’t care to live a life predicated on the persistent need to be viewed as pious and faithful to a floating, bearded caucasian. It’s just a bad idea; the name for Atheists should be changed to “reasonable people.”

  • Christopher Carpentieri

    Sounds like you’ve run into some asshole atheists. There’s nothing inherently cantankerous about atheism, and especially not about agnosticism.

  • Christopher Carpentieri

    The more straightforward New English Translation makes clear that faith /is/ blind:
    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.”
    Hoping for something doesn’t make it more likely, nor is not seeing something a particularly convincing argument for its existence.

  • Christopher Carpentieri

    And your Catholicism, sir or ma’am, I can respect.

  • DK

    That’s fair. I was annoyed at the commenters who implied that believers are only in that state by ignorance, that knowledge/awareness necessarily births skepticism.

  • Anonymous

    15/15. Humanist. See the above testimonials from people who were told, by their own devout families or church-run schools, *not* to read the Bible. Meanwhile I had read it freely, in several different versions, with annotations, and with study guides, as well as the scriptures of, and books about, other religions. That’s why this quiz was so easy. Knowledge was never forbidden to me. I’m glad that’s the sort of life I’ve had, and I wouldn’t trade it for another.

  • Dava

    If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out

  • Dava

    If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out

  • Mick Niller

    Well, i’m a devout atheist, and I got 14 out of 15 right.

  • Father Special

    I got the school prayer wrong, though they didn’t seem to count it. The last one I had no clue about…”The Great Awakening”.

    I was raised Catholic, sort of (though never confirmed), I have always been an atheist though I spent some time studying buddhism (semi-officially). I have never found Buddhist philosophy contradictory in any way to atheism but I suppose that depends on how you take it. As for agnostics, I still don’t understand what it means, but they didn’t ask any questions about that.

    No college education. So what was the Great Awakening anyway… guess I’ll have to look it up.

    No questions about taoism, and many other religions. What is the point of all this? Why am I commenting?

    Know any good jokes?

  • FatherSpecial

    Me again, I had a thought, yup, so I took the test again (I did get school prayer right originally after all…good for me).
    Is Nirvana, the state free from all suffering the state buddhists REALLY hope to attain? I knew what the correct answer was technically, but is it really correct? NO, not really.
    I just thought I should point that out.

  • Sal20001

    13/15, but I made a few good guesses too. No affiliations for me.

  • codered

    Oooh, did you think that one up yourself??

  • codered

    Lol at ironic username. Non-racists CAN be labeled as such, except that such thinking is already expected out of the population as “proper” behavior, thus we single out “racists” as a minority of bad seeds. Just as we do murders and rapists. We cannot single out believers seeing as they are not a minority and their beliefs are connected to traditional establishments will still influence the wider culture.

    Just another boring, bigheaded PC hypocrite up his own far-left ass, thinking his beliefs still make him a “revolutionary” thinker.