Archive - Sep 2010

September 30th

Pardon My Gloat

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Memo to the practitioners of the world's religions: SUCK ON IT.

I mean, I knew we atheists were smarter than you when it came to the mysteries of the universe. That's a given. And I knew we were smarter than you on important subjects like how to spend a Sunday morning, whether or not to eat pork, whether or not to eat meat alongside dairy, and whether or not to have sex outside of marriage. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've actually combined all four of those things into the most sacrilegious half-day ever.

But even I was surprised to find out that we're smarter than you when it comes to your own friggin' religious beliefs. I mean, what the fuck? We just barely edged out the Jews, for whom studying religion is practically the basis for their religion. We beat the Mormons by a smidge, and all they do between the houses they get rejected at is repress their homosexuality and read all that literature they can't get rid of.

Christians? No contest. You see, the Pew Forum did a survey consisting of 32 questions about the world's religions. Atheists and agnostics got 20.9 out of 32 correct. The average was 16, which is where Protestants came in. I find that hilariously appropriate. Catholics? 14.5. Dudes. Come on. I thought you'd have nailed this!

By the way, the Pew Forum includes a fifteen-question multiple-choice sample quiz, which, in the interests of both science and showing off, I took. I missed one, with one correct 50/50 guess, and one accidentally botching the Jewish sabbath based on when the deli near me is closed. But I got the one right about Catholic ritualistic cannibalism - more than half the Catholics think transubstantiation is supposed to be symbolic. They probably think "corn sugar" is better for you than "high fructose corn syrup", too.

To be fair, the Pew Forum did fuck with all the godly by including questions about heathen beliefs. None of the Muslim questions involved victory mosques, none of the Jewish questions involved pastrami, and none of the Buddhist questions involved Jackie Chan, so I can see where the Christians might have been thrown. But Team Deadgod still managed to kick the asses of everyone except the Mormons and the Evangelicals when you look JUST at the Christianity questions.

And for the most part, these were not stumpers. Sure, there was a question about whether Maimonides was Jewish, but I think I speak for the 92% of people who got it wrong when I say "Who the fuck was Maimonides, Alex?" There was one about the First Great Awakening (my lucky guess), and one about one of those Christian doctrinal differences that seems so very important to them and I could give two shits about.

But the rest? Shit like "What is Ramadan" or "Was Joseph Smith a Mormon". Basic stuff you'd get if you paid attention, and weren't spending all your time burning Korans (or possibly Dreams From My Father, since 46% of people botched the "What is the Muslim holy book" question), bullying gay kids, and watching "Left Behind II" on instant streaming."

I mean, we pay attention to this shit, and we don't even care! Oh, sure, transubstantiation is hilarious, I'll grant you that one, but most of the rest I could happily go my entire life not knowing if I didn't have to share a planet with hordes of the chronically superstitious. That's gotta sting a little, right? Maybe convince you it's time to step up your collective intellectual game? Read a second book? Read the first one for comprehension?

No? Just gonna go vote for that nice Christine O'Donnell, then? OK. But the next time there's a pop quiz, we're just going to kick your asses again.