That religion quiz/survey

You’ve probably read about that survey by Pew into the religious knowledge of Americans. Like all such surveys, it proves that we’re as dumb as fence posts.

The original survey had 32 questions. Pew has put up an online quiz with 15 of those questions, so you can test yourself and see how you stack up.

I took the online quiz yesterday and got all 15 correct,1 even though I would never consider myself an expert on religion. The reason I did so well was that the questions seemed more historical and cultural than religious. If you’ve forgotten—or never learned—your catechism, you won’t be at a disadvantage.

I started thinking about how I came to know the answers and decided that most of my “religious knowledge” came from

  1. Watching television.
  2. Going to the movies.
  3. Reading.
  4. Just living around people and noticing things.

The balance of this post will be me going through the quiz, giving the questions, the answers, and where I think I got the answers. If you want to take the quiz and haven’t done so yet, don’t click the link below, because it’ll spoil everything. (And for those of you reading the RSS feed, I’ll try to put some space in here—don’t scroll any further!)






So, how did you do and why?

  1. I wouldn’t be posting about it if I’d done badly, would I? 

One Response to “That religion quiz/survey”

  1. Adam Turetzky says:

    I got 8 out of 15

    1. Same as you, Heston
    2. I recall she was a nun and those are Catholic
    3. Same as you, golden rule, not commandment
    4. Being Jewish I knew this but thought it was a trick question and got it wrong (went with the sundown thing)
    5. Ramadan I got from the news.
    6. I had always thought that the bread and wine “the first time” were literal, maybe. I figured something that macabre couldn’t be still in play so it must be practiced now as in symbol only. I’m now a little freaked out knowing millions of people go to church on Sunday and believe they are cannibalizing and drinking the blood of a 2000 year old dead Jewish carpenter.
    7. I knew Vishnu was Hindu because of a figurine my mom had
    8. I had “Job” in the back of my mind but had nothing there to reference why I thought it was Job so I couldn’t go with it. Instead I knew the Abraham being tested by sacrificing his son story and went with that.
    9. I have no clue about Mormons and figured this was some type of trick question that “Joseph” in the bible, and everyone from the old testament, had the last name “Smith”. Which didn’t make any sense either but went with it because it was the only explanation I could come up with.
    10. Knew this from the controversy and Supreme court case.
    11. Knew this from common sense about free speech.
    12. Wasn’t sure on this, went with Hindu but thought maybe Muslim was bigger in India. Should have gone with that.
    13. Being Jewish I don’t know anything about the new testament so I didn’t have a clue about Protestant Reformation. I went with John Wesley who I think might have been a character from Harry Potter. But none of the names made any sense to me.
    14. I know Nirvana is Buddhism from Dan Benjamin of Hive Logic fame.
    15. No idea what the great awakening is/was. Went with Billy Graham because it’s the only name I recognized as being religious and not a former presidential candidate!