There are no trick questions in this religion poll, only trick answers

September 29, 2010|By TIM ROWLAND
  • Tim Rowland

You just know that the biased, godless, seal-clubbing media will be all over this story, so it is up to freedom-loving writers such as myself to set the record straight before it gets too much "traction" and begins to "resonate" among the buzzword buzzards in the mainstream press.

The "story" is as follows: According to the Pew Research Center, a survey of more than 3,000 Americans showed that the segment of our society that is most knowledgeable about religion is -- atheists.

Yes, atheists and agnostics know more about Christianity than Christians do, according to the survey, and about other world religions as well.

All right, so they know more. But where's the love?

Or -- maybe that's the problem, at least based on some of these frothing TV preachers I've seen. Love? What's that got to do with religion?

But in surveys such as this, I'm more likely to blame the survey itself than the people giving the answers. There must have been a lot of trick questions. For example, based on what we've been taught by angry politicians, school teachers are prohibited from reading to students from the Bible. Apparently, this is false. But it can hardly be our fault -- why would we have suspected that politicians would lie? What would they have to gain?


That's why I would like to provide nonatheists with a do-over. Forget the Pew questions about Mother Teresa (she was Roman Catholic? Who knew?) and take this test, which I believe will provide a true and accurate picture of your religious knowledge:

1. The prodigal son was on:

A. Drugs.

B. Dancing With the Stars.

C. The outs with his whiny brother.

2. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago:

A. Is the Middle Eastern, car-care equivalent of the Pep Boys.

B. Is what they called the band before Neil Young got there.

C. Did better under fire than the CEO of BP.

3. Mesada:

A. Can be made with ground beef, although ground lamb is preferred.

B. Can be removed from most people with only local anesthesia.

C. Is where Barack Obama feels like he is at the moment.

4. The parable of the loaves and the fishes is used to signify:

A. The undesirability of excessive breading on seafood.

B. Why you should refrain from feeding the carp at the town park.

C. Why R.S.V.P matters.

5. In the book of Revelation, the "seven-headed beast" refers to:

A. Snow White's experiment with cannibalism.

B. How the world will one day be taken over by cabbage.

C. The reason for always wearing clean underwear.

6. When Sampson felt something tickling his neck, he discovered that it was:

A. Boy George.

B. A stinkbug.

C. Follicular Kryptonite.

7. Noah needed a large boat because of:

A. The growing trade deficit with the Assyrians.

B. His neighbors, Abraham and Sarah Jones, who had just bought them a new, 32-foot Bayliner.

C. Climate change.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at"> Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under">, on or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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