According to a new Zogby poll involving 1,213 people across the U.S., three fourths of Americans “can correctly identify two of Show White’s seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court Justices.”
Asked what planet Superman was from, 60 percent named the fictional planet Krypton, while only 37 percent knew that Mercury is the planet closest to the sun.
Respondents were far more familiar with the Three Stooges — Larry, Curly and Moe — than the three branches of the U.S. government — judicial, executive and legislative. Seventy-four percent identified the former, 42 percent the latter.
This new poll reveals that many Americans are more comfortable with fiction than fact. We already knew this, of course, thanks to a December ’05 Harris poll showing that 41% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Quaeda and that 22% of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein helped to plan the 9/11 attacks.
These new Zogby poll results remind me . . . I’m looking for a poll on the extent to which practicing Christians are really familiar with the book they claim to be the most important book in the world: the Bible. In my personal experience, most practicing Christians rarely read the Bible and very few of them show any enthusiam for reading it more than they currently do. I find this exceedingly odd, in that Christians claim that the Bible was authored by God Himself. My encounters with Christians suggest that many believers don’t really believe in God, but rather, (as Daniel Dennett suggests) that they believe in belief. They think it’s important to believe, but they themselves don’t really believe in those things they claim to be important.
Most of the (numerous) Christians with whom I have spoken over the years are woefully ignorant of basic Bible facts. For instance, very few Christians realize that there are two conflicting versions of creation, both of which are contained in Genesis. Very few Christians realize that no Christian or secular writings created for 40 years after the purported death of Jesus (including the epistles) speak of the birth or miracles of Jesus of Galilee. If there is a poll out there that addresses Bible knowledge (and ignorance) by practicing American Christians, please advise.