Yesterday the web was buzzing with the results of a Pew research survey on religion that claims people incorrectly answered half the questions, with many people even answering questions wrong on their own faith.
According to the Pew Forum website, white Catholics answered 51 percent correctly and Hispanic Catholics answered 39 percent correctly. Other religious groups scored better, with Jewish people answering 65 percent correct. What was surprising was that atheists/agnostics answered 64 percent correct. That fact shocked me because it would seem people who choose no religion or don’t believe in God know a lot about religion.
The results of the survey reminded me of something Archbishop Dolan said recently in Los Angeles. He said Catholics should get better in the art of apologetics, which he called “the art of credibly, convincingly and compellingly defending and presenting our faith.” This is an area I know that I have to study. Even though I’ve taken religion and theology classes through 12 years of Catholic schooling, there are so many questions I am unable to answer about the faith. I think I’ll begin this year by reading books about apologetics and sitting down with the behemoth that is the Catechism.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life offers a condensed survey people can take on their website. Thankfully, I answered 15 of 15 questions correctly – even though for two I had to use the process of elimination. To try the short quiz yourself, check it out here: http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php