Gordon Keith: What do we know about religion?

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by GORDON KEITH

WFAA contributor

Posted on September 30, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 30 at 8:43 PM

A new survey released this week by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that many Americans don't know much about religion.

In fact, the groups that scored the highest on the test were atheists and agnostics. There are many possible reasons for this.

One reason is that a lot of religions don't exactly encourage you to go nosing around learning about other faiths, or even the history and details of your own.

That's sad.

If a religion can be decimated by an ounce of honest inquiry or doubt, it isn't much of a religion.

Having grown up in church and spent countless hours in Sunday School, I'm not appalled that people don't know much about other faiths, but I'm appalled that we don't know more about our own.

It wasn't until I studied on my own as an adult that I learned that the King James Version of the Bible wasn't the one used by the Apostles like my grandmother believed.

Some people justify their willful ignorance with a misuse of the term "faith." They use faith as an intellectual get-out-of-jail-free card, rather than a final bridge of grace after a long soulful journey.

To these people, fancy book-learning is the enemy of faith, even if that fancy book is the Good Book.

One thing the survey revealed is that our Sunday schools need to do a better job of teaching religious literacy. It's school, for crying out loud! It should primarily feed the head, not the heart. Sermons and prayer meetings will handle the latter.

So next time that Pew Forum comes around to ask me what the Second Commandment states, I won't mess up again and say it's the one that gave us "the right to bear arms."

 

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