Are You Smarter Than an Atheist?

Are You Smarter Than an Atheist?

GSN (formerly the Game Show Network) has stolen the title I’d hoped to use for a history of the U.S. for a new quiz program: The American Bible Challenge. Hosted by now-too-rich-to-be-a-redneck Jeff Foxworthy, the show will let contestants match wits while racking up cash for their favorite charities. In an article written for Religion News Service, Chris Lee describes the tone of the show:

The show tests biblical knowledge in culture, history, literature and current events. In one segment, players try to differentiate “the Word of the Lord” from “the Lord of the Rings” and identify whether a character comes from the Bible or Star Wars.

In a land where 1 in 10 think Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife, this sounds like pure TV gold. We could all certainly use some education in the area. A 2010 Pew Forum survey concluded that “Atheists/Agnostics” outscored every other demographic in Bible knowledge. “White Catholics” were soundly beaten by “Jewish” (which is just embarrassing given that the Hebrew Bible is quite a bit shorter than our own), but managed to outperform “Nothing in particular.”

There’s not much to be proud of in those stats. Fortunately for us, pride is a deadly sin.

Should you like to banish your mental poverty and confine your humility to the spiritual, try some of Franciscan Media’s easy guides to the Bible. Or just try a Bible. Full of great stories, steamy love scenes, and soaring poetry, it won’t pause for commercial breaks or mock you if your family tree doesn’t fork. Don’t have a Bible handy? Ask your atheist friend. He’s probably already read it.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Domnici/


About the Author

Kathleen M. Carroll is the managing editor for the book department at Franciscan Media. She loves reading, gardening, animals, babies, baby animals, and extreme recycling. She is the stay-away-from-home mother to four really good-looking children. And no, she will not read your manuscript.
  • raquel from Florida

    Let me tell you: while waiting for T.S. Isaac to visit Florida, I watched the show with my 13 years old daughter and we had fun! I remembered my religious ed. class in 8th grade with the nuns in Venezuela and got some correct answers . My daughter also got some (she is in her 8th year of religious ed in our parish). In the end we had fun and added new bible facts to our brains!. And I agree with you: we catholics need to read more the Bible

  • billyraybar

    Lol. I think Catholics realize the books in the bible are a tad outdated and belief in god has zilch to do with knowledge of those storied texts. Given modern science, the proportion of literal to nonliteral stories is decreasing at an alarming rate and shows no signs of ending. People pick out the neat things from the bible while the rest I’d relegated to the trash heap. This is a good thing. Heck, knowing what Jesus said means nothing to me yet my actions pass as moral to any god that is good.