Faith trumps factual knowledge of religion in America, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. On average, people got about half the questions right.  Though 86 percent of Americans believe in God or a higher power, many couldn’t answer basic questions about their own faith:

55 percent of Catholics were ignorant of the basic doctrine of transubstantiation, while 81 percent of Protestants were unaware of the central teaching that salvation comes via faith alone. Forty-five percent of respondents were under the impression that the Golden Rule is one of the Ten Commandments. Atheists and agnostics did the best on the survey, while Jews and Mormons outperformed other religious people. Atheist advocates aren’t surprised by the results, reports the New York Times. “Atheism is an effect of knowledge, not a lack of knowledge,” said Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists.


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