Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Why have a book if you never read it?


Some interesting statistics, via Jane:

Some statistics:

* About 92 percent of American own at least one copy of the Bible.
* The average household has 3 copies.
* About 67 percent of Americans say that the Bible holds the answers to the basic questions of life.
* The Bible is the world's all-time best seller.
* At least 20 million copies are sold each year.
* Gideon International annually distributes more than 45 million copies.

Biblical knowledge (Biblical illiteracy is rampant):

* Perhaps 15 percent of Americans participate in Bible studies.
* The number of people who read the Bible, at least occasionally is 59 percent.
* Less than 50 percent of Americans can name the first book of the Bible (Genesis).
* Only 1/3 of Americans know who delivered the Sermon on the Mount (more people identified Billy Graham rather than Jesus).
* Twenty-five percent of Americans don't know what is celebrated on Easter (the Resurrection of Christ, the foundational event of Christianity).
* Twelve percent of Christians think that Noah's wife is Joan of Arc.
* Eighty percent of born-again Christians (including George W. Bush) think it is the Bible that says "God helps them that help themselves." (Actually it was said by Benjamin Franklin.)
It is not just ignorance of science, but also ignorance of religion, that is widespread in America. Does this totals to ABSOLUTE ignorance? Where do people get their disinformation? Can we step in and provide some information instead. As argument from authority obviously works on many people, how can we replace the local fire'n'brimstone preacher, as well as Hannity, as the "authority" for many more people?

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