stephen protheroYes. Ok, there’s a little more to the story, but the short answer is definitely yes at least from my experience. But of course you don’t have take my word for it when there are people who study this for a living.

Steve Prothero, a professor of Religious Studies at Boston University, has been studying this very question for many years. He started giving a simple religious literacy quiz to his students and eventually everyone he knew. The prognosis was dire; almost everyone failed. Complete story here.

The end result of all this is to be released in an upcoming book entitled, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know–And Doesn’t. Prothero’s message is very simple. He believes that Americans need to be educated with respects to religion.

“Given a political environment where religion is increasingly important, it’s increasingly important to know something about religion. The payoff is a more involved [political] conversation.”

I agree completely with Prothero and I too believe that religion should be taught in public schools alongside sex education and other fundamental subjects. While we’re at it, let’s teach kids how to manage their own finances. I’m always shocked when I meet people with outrageous credit card debt and they don’t even realize that they’re paying 20% interest. Damnit I digress again.

I’ll end with these words of wisdom from the article:

“In Prothero’s utopian world, Americans would have enough religious knowledge to debate ethics positions using holy texts, to understand Biblical references in political speeches, to question their own beliefs about God—and to encourage others to question theirs. Only then will we enjoy one of the greatest privileges of the educated, which is to change our minds.”

I’d like to thank Itanshi for sharing this article with us!

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