Saturday, January 06, 2018

Young Evangelicals Aren’t Stupid— It’s Just That Their Parents Abhor Education And, Tragically, Instill Ignorance Into Their Worldview


I come from a secular Jewish home. My parents and grandparents taught me about latkes and gefilte fish, a sense of social justice and the importance of education. My school report cards were always very weighty moments in our household. "College" was the most crucial of goals on the horizon even when I was in elementary school. A "B" was a shonda, even worse than being a bigot and not treating everyone with respect... or not saving money.

Recently the author and filmmaker Frank Schaeffer, who grew up in a very different-- evangelical-- household, told me that it’s “no coincidence that the Trump/GOP tax bill is anti-college and anti-university. Trump owes his power to the white evangelical vote. And white evangelicals are hostile to so-called worldly education. That’s why there are evangelical colleges-- to protect young minds. That’s why even when evangelicals do go to secular colleges they try and arm themselves against secular knowledge. Evangelicals devalue the expertise of ‘secular elites.’ Since these ‘elites’ are ‘wrong’ about evolution, it’s easy for Evangelicals to believe they are also wrong about climate change, and, indeed, to believe anything our increasingly radical American conservative movement-- radicalized in large part thanks precisely to the Christian Right-- wants to believe.” A little over a year ago, the Pew Research Center published a poll-based essay by Caryle Murphy about educational attainment based on religious affinity. You could probably guess that evangelicals rank towards the bottom and have poor prospects for success in life.
Attainment of a four-year college degree in the United States, often regarded as a key asset for economic success, varies by race and gender. But the share of people completing a college education also differs by religion, with members of some faith groups much more educated, on average, than others.

By far, Hindus and Unitarian Universalists have among the largest share of those with a college degree-- 77% and 67% respectively. Roughly six-in-ten Jews (59%) have college degrees, as do similar shares in both the Anglican church (59%) and the Episcopal Church (56%).

These groups are among the top of a list of 30 U.S. religious groups ranked by educational attainment based on data from our 2014 Religious Landscape Study.

Given the strong correlation between educational attainment and economic success, it is not surprising that Jews and Hindus, on average, have high household incomes, with four-in-ten Jews (44%) and roughly a third of Hindus (36%) living in households with annual incomes of at least $100,000, according to the 2014 study.

Other religious groups also have a higher percentage of college graduates than the full sample of more than 35,000 U.S. adults surveyed in the 2014 Religious Landscape Study, among whom 27% completed university. They include Buddhists and members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)-- both at 47%-- as well as Orthodox Christians (40%), Muslims (39%) and Mormons (33%).

Since Catholics make up one-in-five adults, it is not surprising that their share of members with a college degree (26%) roughly mirrors that of the general public.

One-in-five members of historically black Protestant denominations- the National Baptist Convention (19%) and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (21%)-- have a college degree, as do members of the Southern Baptist Convention (19%).

Our study also looked at educational attainment in three categories of religiously unaffiliated people. About four-in-ten atheists (43%) and agnostics (42%) have earned college degrees, as have nearly a quarter (24%) of those who say their religion is “nothing in particular.”
Evangelicals also tend to be Trump supporters. They are immune to reality and, in general, have nothing to live for. Their lives are bleak and they basically look towards an apocalypse and “The Rapture” to transport them to “heaven” and a life worth living. These are the most miserable and most hopeless Americans. They tend to hate life itself. White evangelicals account for about 17% of the population. Their leaders look at them as “marks” and they spend their lives being fleeced and lied to. Should they even be voting on what impacts normal people?

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At 9:39 PM, Blogger boonmee said...

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At 2:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To modify an applicable aphorism: Ignorance is Blessed.

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Interesting statistics. Despite denying climate change and evolution, I am certain almost all of the very religious believe in the science of medicine when it comes to their own or their children's health (Christian Scientists notwithstanding!). They also use technology like the rest of us and take advantage of all of the modern conveniences available in the 21st century - more science. Irrational hypocrites.

You cannot argue with faith, since it is the suspension of logic and reason.

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said... the stats shown tend to repudiate your titular postulate.

I might look at those stats and see that evangelicals are, indeed, stupid. I might see that the more southern the sect, the dumber they are. Given what else we know about those demographics, we might infer a direct correlation between the south, Christian sects and being a fucking moron.

Of course, economics play a very large part in who can and cannot even dream of a college education. Kind of a chicken/egg conundrum.

But look at the 'all us adults' line and try not to get completely depressed.
I know this greedy nation profitizes everything, including education. I know that this shithole forces nearly half the population into poverty. But that line is truly depressing.

Are we so maleducated because we are dumber than shit? Or are we maleducated and dumber than shit because our society forces us to be? Or does our society force half of us to be poor because we are maleducated and dumber than shit and cannot adequately select leaders who will make our society better?

Or is it all of the above in a resonant swirling around the bowl of eventual extinction?

And where in any of that can ANY good news even be possible?

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's recognize the Baptists, shall we. Dumbest fucking religion on the planet. Now stats prove it.


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