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#1 Old 05-27-2007, 11:12 PM
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030102073.html



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A 2005 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that nearly two-thirds of Americans endorse the simultaneous teaching of creationism and evolution in public schools. How can citizens know what creationism means, or make an informed decision about whether it belongs in classrooms, if fewer than half can identify Genesis? No doubt the same proportion of Americans think that Thomas Edison said, "Let there be light."



Approximately 75 percent of adults, according to polls cited by Prothero, mistakenly believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." More than 10 percent think that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. Only half can name even one of the four Gospels, and -- a finding that will surprise many -- evangelical Christians are only slightly more knowledgeable than their non-evangelical counterparts.



It is less surprising but more dangerous, given America's role in the world, that the public knows even less about Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism than it does about Christianity and Judaism. As Prothero notes, President Bush repeatedly declared that "Islam is peace" in the months after 9/11, while the prophet Muhammad was called a "terrorist" by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "Who was right?" Prothero asks. "Unfortunately, Americans had no way to judge."





Interesting and depressing statistics.

One has to wonder, why follow something you know nothing about?



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The condition Prothero describes in Religious Literacy is unquestionably one manifestation of a more general decline in the public's cultural and civic knowledge. According to polls conducted by the National Constitution Center, only one third of Americans can name even one of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Is it any more startling that only one third can identify the preacher of the Sermon on the Mount?



Millions follow a country they know nothing about, millions do nothing but live a machine life - living to survive, instead of living to live.



It's sad, to know so many are so ignorant, and even worse, that they don't care. All that matters is a pack of Bud in the fridge, the game on tv, enough entertainment and sex to keep them distracted enough while they slowly drift everyday into the yawning abyss of nothingness.



How can we jolt America to life?



It's no guess that thousands of those called "christian", walk around and hate-monger any and everything, while attending a church on Easter and Christmas, half asleep, waiting to get home to dive into candy and presents.



66% of American's don't know a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment? And yet, I bet most would know every character on Lost or Grey's Anatomy, or the latest gossip from hollywood.





What has gotten this country so ignorant and blind?





well...I have an idea... and it's been a battle for ages...
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#2 Old 05-27-2007, 11:37 PM
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How can we jolt America to life?





After the attacks on the Twin Towers, Pentagon, etc... , in spite of the sadness and shock that many people elsewhere in the world felt, the comments I heard and read many many times were: "maybe this will wake them up".



And for a few days, it almost seemed there was a tiny possibility that this would happen.



But that faded quickly.



The USA is depressing in SO SO many ways. Fortunately, there are some bright people out there. But are there ENOUGH?????????
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#3 Old 05-27-2007, 11:44 PM
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Millions follow a country they know nothing about,

What do you mean by this?



Anywho, I think the key to saving America is by opening the borders and disbanding the military.
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#4 Old 05-28-2007, 12:22 AM
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Anywho, I think the key to saving America is by opening the borders and disbanding the military.

Utter lunacy!
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#5 Old 05-28-2007, 01:30 AM
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More than 10 percent think that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc. Only half can name even one of the four Gospels.



um...yeah

I'm scared when I talk to Christians and I can convince them I know anything about Christianity...1000x worse when I know more than THEM.

I saw a [Christian American] woman on TV once who said "If God had wanted us to speak Spanish, he wouldn't have written the bible in English".

/headdesk
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#6 Old 05-28-2007, 01:35 AM
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Yeah, many people are ignorant. But I don't think religion (ANY religion) is the priority. Learning to read, write and speak properly is. And also learning about other cultures and countries.
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#7 Old 05-28-2007, 03:12 AM
 
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I have to say, I'm not too surprised. I think Jacoby hit the nail on the head when she says that it's just a part of the decline of general cultural knowledge of America's history.



Although, I must admit that I have a really hard time buying the Joan of Arc bit...that's like the oldest Sunday School joke ever.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#8 Old 05-28-2007, 05:02 AM
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Although, I must admit that I have a really hard time buying the Joan of Arc bit...that's like the oldest Sunday School joke ever.



yeah, that ranks up there with

Where is a Honda mentioned in the bible?

Acts "The apostles were all in one Accord."

boom! boom!

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#9 Old 05-28-2007, 08:11 AM
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You can make the same observations in science. Many people take any statement as fact, so long as they see the word "science" or "scientist" in the Yahoo article where they read about it.
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#10 Old 05-28-2007, 08:34 AM
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Those statistics don't surprise me at all. This country is populated with apathetic citizens who don't know, and more importantly, don't care, about the government or its policies. If people don't care about the laws applied to their everyday practical life, do you think they will really educate themselves about their non-tangible spiritual life?



What would wake America up? Jericho. Nothing short of complete and utter chaos.



However, I think it does help to encourage young people to get involved, be informed, and make decisions based on facts rather than following the masses.
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#11 Old 05-28-2007, 08:35 AM
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People just want personal security nowdays, and religion makes people feel personally secure.



If folks can have their Budweiser and Chicken Wings and 24 playing on the flat-screen TV and feel like they have eternity secured by calling themselves Christian, then all is well in America.



If they deeply believed in Christ and His teachings, they would read the Bible and actually learn and follow its principles.
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#12 Old 05-28-2007, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by troub View Post


One has to wonder, why follow something you know nothing about?





Quote:

It's no guess that thousands of those called "christian", walk around and hate-monger any and everything, while attending a church on Easter and Christmas, half asleep, waiting to get home to dive into candy and presents.





It seems obvious to me. What is their incentive to care about Bible trivia and attend mass every morning? If you choose to follow Christianity, you only "have to do so much" to get into Heaven. You can skate through life without having to know Noah's wife's name and even get to the pearly gates when you're finished. So why would people bother?
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#13 Old 05-28-2007, 08:53 AM
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Sad and depressing, but not surprising.

Purposeful ignorance frustrates and perplexes me.

I'm passionately interested in learning as much as I can about things around me, and I get frustrated with mySELF on occasions when I find I'm feeling rather apathetic about something or someone - more-so when I see that in others.

How can you NOT want to know everything possible about your country and it's government (though that can be depressing sometimes too!), your religion (or belief system, whatever it may be) even smaller things like news of the day's events, your kids' school and their friends, and ways to be more healthy, etc., etc.,...
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#14 Old 05-28-2007, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

Millions follow a country they know nothing about, millions do nothing but live a machine life - living to survive, instead of living to live.



It's sad, to know so many are so ignorant, and even worse, that they don't care. All that matters is a pack of Bud in the fridge, the game on tv, enough entertainment and sex to keep them distracted enough while they slowly drift everyday into the yawning abyss of nothingness.



I went to my brother's wedding over this weekend. The family of the bride was like this. Their conversations were about the alcohol, the latest games/ shows on tv, the 'hot' women around, and riding 4 wheelers and snowmobiles...



I tried to explain about north Idaho (where I'm from) and they thought it was a desert... They live on the coast of Washington state... I had no connection or understanding with these people.



Quote:

How can we jolt America to life?







I don't think much will be able to jolt America to life. I really don't see it happening. Maybe a depression?



Quote:

What has gotten this country so ignorant and blind?



Lots. For starters, I'd say capitalism.



Quote:

well...I have an idea... and it's been a battle for ages...



Which is...?

I believe everything.
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#15 Old 05-28-2007, 01:32 PM
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If these statistics were true, this article would make sense to very few people. If statistics about a lack of knowledge are appalling to the general public, one has to question if they're actually true.



One thing I will mention, though. As a teenager, I figured out I actually knew very little about Christianity despite having gone to church my entire life. Very few people are motivated to crack open the Bible, and that's where the core of Christianity is. (Notice that I am pretty opinionated on what Christianity is.)



As far as the Bill of Rights? American History is about as exciting to most teens as learning to read about insurance coverage. Are we teaching them why they want to know this?
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#16 Old 05-28-2007, 01:44 PM
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Troub,

I would love to stand and yell "You are so wrong! There is always hope!" And maybe there is. I know it is within the American spirit to be able to turn around and change. I have seen some waves of change for the good in my life, and many of the elements for good change are in place right now. BUT, don't you just love that word? But as long as we have such an oppressive government, we will be unable for those positive factors to come together.



I remember when we were truly free. That is gone now and it will take real courage and maybe even some violent internal upheaval to change it back. We have got to be more careful who we vote into office from the top down.



Our founding fathers were actually stubborn hotheaded rebels who went against the majority to make a change. If Thomas Jefferson or George Washington stuck his head above the crowd today, the FBI/CIA would shoot it off. We still need to find a few good activitist who have the strength of their convictions to fight for the good of our people and our country's future. Are you out there Mr. Jefferson? Is there a John Hancock anywhere out there who is willing to put his family, name and fortune on the line to fight the present government until all our rights are returned to us?



Is there any real concern left for the children of our country even if they aren't part of our 4 and no more? Until we care for more than just our own families, until we have the courage of our convictions, until we are ready to fight once again for what is really important, our personal liberties and the welfare of our people, we will get what we are given and not a drop more. Poverty of the spirit, poverty of the soul, poverty of the mind, and poverty of the body. Is that all we want? God forbid!
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#17 Old 05-28-2007, 01:50 PM
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What do you mean by this?



Anywho, I think the key to saving America is by opening the borders and disbanding the military.



Wrong, Kel. This is just as dangerous as shutting everything down and becoming a military state.
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#18 Old 05-28-2007, 02:56 PM
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Lots. For starters, I'd say capitalism.





I'd agree that "capitalism" has very nearly ruined our country - and perhaps even the world. Everyone is so consumption oriented, and concepts like quality, product reliability, and the idea that you might want to buy something that will last have all but disappeared. We want new stuff, cheap, and if something comes out tomorrow that's cuter, well, we'll throw the first one out. We commodify animals, the environment, and even people. And that makes us immune to any suffering and destruction that might occur in the process to get our needs met - quickly and cheaply.



What will wake us up? I have no idea. I keep hoping that perhaps a new age of enlightenment will begin. I have dreams that it will start with the vegan movement and build from there. (*sigh*)

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#19 Old 05-29-2007, 02:41 PM
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It's more than education that's going down the tubes. The book Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire by Morris Berman touches on this subject. I think most people will agree that the US is in trouble.



- Signed The Enemy
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#20 Old 05-29-2007, 02:48 PM
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i never realized how uninformed i was about the number of uninformed people there are in the USA!
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#21 Old 05-29-2007, 03:21 PM
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"nearly two-thirds of Americans endorse the simultaneous teaching of creationism and evolution in public schools."



Fantasy land.
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#22 Old 05-29-2007, 04:11 PM
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So what was Noah's wife's name? I know it wasn't "Miss of Arc" (as Bill and Ted called her), but I freely admit to not knowing much from the Bible. But then, I don't claim to be Christian, either.



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#23 Old 05-29-2007, 05:21 PM
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"What was Noah's wife's name?

According to the Book of Jubilees, "And in the twenty-fifth [1205 A.M.] jubilee Noah took to himself a wife, and her name was Emzara, the daughter of Rake'el, the daughter of his father's brother, in the first year in the fifth week [1207 A.M.]: and in the third year thereof she bare him Shem, in the fifth year thereof [1209 A.M.] she bare him Ham, and in the first year in the sixth week [1212 A.M.] she bare him Japheth." According to a children's book written by an ordained Jewish rabbi - Noah's wife's name was Naamah. The book's title is "A Prayer for the Earth: The Story of Naamah, Noah's Wife". The author is Sandy Eisenberg Sasso who is well-known."



I guess you can take your pick!!
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#24 Old 05-29-2007, 05:24 PM
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It's a bit ironic that Noah's wife bore him Ham.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#25 Old 05-29-2007, 05:24 PM
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OMG, I thought the same thing when I saw that!!
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#26 Old 05-29-2007, 05:50 PM
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"nearly two-thirds of Americans endorse the simultaneous teaching of creationism and evolution in public schools."Fantasy land.



I never understood why Christian's demand creationism be taught in the public school in the first place. You'd think they want their child to be schooled in Bible School or Sunday School. I knew how the earth was created like at age five, and my parents weren't serious church goers, but they made it a point to send me to Bible school.



If these people are really that concerned about religion, then they should stop being lazy and get proactive in their child's religious education. Even better yet, send them to a religious private school.
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#27 Old 05-29-2007, 06:37 PM
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Books like "The Death of Outrage" and "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience" have been saying this for years. This isn't new. But then, it wouldn't be, since people don't wake up one day and decide to be ignorant. It happens progressively over time.



The author of "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience" was all up in arms about laxity in personal morality issues like divorce, extramarital sex, abortion and the like. He also wrote about greed/materialism, but he didn't seem at all concerned about people's attitudes toward sexism, racism, glbtq issues or helping the poor.



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Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

"What was Noah's wife's name?

According to the Book of Jubilees, "And in the twenty-fifth [1205 A.M.] jubilee Noah took to himself a wife, and her name was Emzara, the daughter of Rake'el, the daughter of his father's brother, in the first year in the fifth week [1207 A.M.]: and in the third year thereof she bare him Shem, in the fifth year thereof [1209 A.M.] she bare him Ham, and in the first year in the sixth week [1212 A.M.] she bare him Japheth." According to a children's book written by an ordained Jewish rabbi - Noah's wife's name was Naamah. The book's title is "A Prayer for the Earth: The Story of Naamah, Noah's Wife". The author is Sandy Eisenberg Sasso who is well-known."



I guess you can take your pick!!



Maybe one was an online screen name, while the other was what her family and friends called her offline.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#28 Old 05-30-2007, 03:44 AM
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Yeah, you ARE good!!
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#29 Old 05-30-2007, 08:43 AM
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#30 Old 05-30-2007, 08:47 AM
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Prothero views the 20th century's much sharper decline in religious literacy as a product of changes in both religion and society. One ironic factor is an emphasis on a bland tolerance that, while vital to pluralistic American democracy, has also discouraged our awareness of religious distinctions.

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to religious tolerance. Reading the Bible or Koran does not make one more tolerant. "a bland tolerance" is the best you're going to be able to do for most people, take it.

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