Religion

This is a very interesting post and worth a read.

Don’t know much about religion? You’re not alone, study finds

Odds are that you know Mother Teresa was Catholic, but what religion is the Dalai Lama?

How about Maimonides?

And – no Googling – what’s the first book of the Bible? How about the first four books of the New Testament?

Americans who can answer all of those questions are relatively rare, a huge new study has found.

In fact, although the United States is one of the most religious developed countries in the world, most Americans scored 50 percent or less on a quiz measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions and what the Constitution says about religion in public life.

The survey is full of surprising findings.

For example, it’s not evangelicals or Catholics who did best – it’s atheists and agnostics.

It’s not Bible-belt Southerners who scored highest – they came at the bottom.

Those who believe the Bible is the literal word of God did slightly worse than average, while those who say it is not the word of God scored slightly better.

Barely half of all Catholics know that when they take communion, the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Christ, according to Catholic doctrine.

And only about one in three know that a public school teacher is allowed to teach a comparative religion class – although nine out of 10 know that teacher isn’t allowed by the Supreme Court to lead a class in prayer.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life is behind the 32-question quiz, polling more than 3,400 Americans by telephone to gauge the depth of the country’s religious knowledge.

Read CNN Belief Blog contributor and Pew adviser Stephen Prothero’s take on the survey

“When it comes to religion, there are a lot of things that Americans are unfamiliar with. That’s the main takeaway,” says Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the think tank and one of the main authors of the survey.

Smith has a theory about why atheists did so well on the quiz – they have thought more about religion than most people.

“Very few people say that they were raised as atheists and agnostics,” he explains.

About three out of four were raised as Christians, he says.

“They were raised in a faith and have made a decision to identify themselves with groups that tend to be fairly unpopular,” atheists and agnostics, he says.

“That decision presupposes having given some thought to these things,” which is strongly linked with religious knowledge, he says.

The single strongest factor predicting how well a person does on the religious knowledge quiz is education – the more years of schooling a person has, the more they are likely to know about religion, regardless of how religious they consider themselves to be, Pew found.

“The No. 1 predictor without question is simply educational attainment,” Smith said.

The think tank also asked a handful of general knowledge questions – such as who wrote “Moby-Dick” and who’s the vice president of the United States – and found a link between religious knowledge and general knowledge.

Very few people scored high on religion questions and badly on general knowledge, or vice versa.

People who were members of religious youth groups also did well, he said.

“Religious education is an important factor that helps to explain knowledge – people who participated in youth groups get an average of two extra questions right,” he said.

Jews and Mormons were close behind atheists and agnostics as the group who did best overall on the religion questions, and white evangelical Protestants also tended to get more than half right.

White Catholics averaged exactly half right, followed by mainline Protestants and people who said they were “nothing in particular,” both of whom got just under half right.

Black Protestants got just over a third of the questions right, and Hispanic Catholics just under a third, the Pew Forum found.

The survey was inspired partly by CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero‘s 2007 book, “Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – And Doesn’t.”

Because the Pew Forum couldn’t find any indication that such a survey has ever been done before, it can’t say if Americans today know more or less about religion now than they did in the past.

And the organization doesn’t claim too much for its 32 questions.

They “are intended to be representative of a body of important knowledge about religion; they are not meant to be a list of the most essential facts,” the Pew Forum says.

Only eight of the 3,412 survey respondents got all 32 questions right. Six got them all wrong.

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Before and After Bathroom

Ok, yes, so it has been since May that I have worked on this silly bathroom.  We worked on small pieces at a time.  We had to tear out the bathroom surround, level the floor, put down tiles (they will have to do for now- on a college girl budget), create a vanity (yes we did, from an old 1950’s Sears sewing table), put down the baseboard shoe, caulk everything up and then paint the trim white (was ivory).  I put up two mirrors I had in the attic and, voila, here you go!

Yes, I always mix gold/silver/wood/brown/black/white.  I go for the lived in shabby chic flea market look. 

BEFORE

Pulling out all the old

AFTER old moldy sheetrock and surround gone, new shower surround put in!

AFTER:

After

After - these mirrors came from the attic. Needed to see...looking for a nice black frame plain mirror.

AFTER- this mirror needs to go, anyone want to donate a black framed one???

I had some bird decals left over from my dining room project and thought they would look good here.  However, my brother teases me about having legless birds…..

I know I won’t win any BGH awards or anything, but my feet are happy that they do not have to walk on nasty plywood anymore.  My feet are enjoying the nice plush red rug placed in front of the tub.  My eyes appreciate this redo just as much.  Until the day we can create a larger bathroom, this will just have to do.

Andrea

Just Love Coffee…must have coffee!

Hello all! 

Many of you are aware that we are starting the adoption process to adopt internationally.  We are looking at the Philippines program at present.  Our goal is to raise our home study fee.  This kick starts the process and we are kind of in limbo until then.  So, in order to get it “kick started”, we are rolling out a few fundraisers.

We have teamed up with Just Love Coffee.  If you like good, quality coffee, check them out!  You can purchase coffees a la carte, or you can sign up for their subscription service and have your choice coffee delivered to your door!

Make sure you check out their OUR STORY page.  These business owners have experienced adoption first hand, thus their motivation to help other adoptive families.  They also support orphanages in Ethiopia.  I hope you find something you like!

Thank you for being you!

Steven, Andrea and Warren

Adoptable Dolls Are Now Available!

If you have ventured over to my other blog, BeautyofAdoption.wordpress.com, you know that we are working on an International Adoption.  We are working on a couple fundraisers to make this possible.  Today, I received the dolls in that are up for “adoption”.  They come with a Certificate of Adoption and a story about where they are from.  Check it out!  Christmas is coming soon!  These make great gifts.  Also, if you are a school teacher, your class can “Adopt” a child and you can teach them about the country and about adoption.  So many ideas!  Thank you for your help and support!

New Orleans Teddy Bear, available for $10 donation ($12 to ship)

Tatiana from Moldova, available for $12 donation ($15 to ship)

Lupe from Guatemala, available for $12 donation ($15 to ship)

Children in Handumanan, Philippines

You may remember me talking in July about having a school supply drive at our VBS.  The kids at our church packaged up the boxes and wrote letters to the kids in the Philippines.  We had such a great time and a tremendous outpouring of hearts during that week of VBS.  The school finally received our supplies and here are a couple pictures.  I love these kids!

This has truly made my day.

Andrea

My sister vents….

And I say “AMEN!”  Read on….

 Throughout my life, many people have offered me “kind” words.  Words that they say will only “help” me.  Words that they feel they must get off their chest because they know I will be a better person because of it.  Intently, I listen to these words looking for a precious gem I can take away with me for inspiration and growth.  However, after the majority of these people utter their first sentence, I wonder why I even took the time to open myself and my mind to them.

    You see, I’ve learned that there are people out there who use unsolicited advice as a vehicle for their own agenda.  They use sweet words dripping with honey that only serve to cover up the two-edged sword they are swinging.  These words guised as helpful advice are only used to deliver their passive aggressive message.

    If you disagree with me, fine, disagree with me. This is the beauty of human nature. We can all disagree, yet still flourish and learn together.  However, just because you disagree with me does not give you the right to use demeaning and patronizing language to try and whittle me down to conform to your belief system.

    Next time you offer “kind” words to someone, ask yourself what purpose it is serving.  Will it really be beneficial to them or are you just making yourself feel better or pushing your own agenda? Be real with yourself.  Be purposeful – only genuine expressions that are not solely used for serving your agenda will make a difference in someone else’s life.

**Thanks for reading. I needed a place to vent**