Sixty percent of Americans can't name five of the Ten Commandments, and 50% of high school seniors think Sodom and Gomorrah were married. Roughly the same percentage says they don't believe in science and that TV celebrity "science guy" Neil deGrasse Tyson is doing "the work of the devil."
These numbers come from Stephen Prothero in his new book, Religious literacy: What every American needs to know. Americans get an "F" in Bible literacy and an "F-" in knowledge of the fundamentals of any scientific discipline.
Since many political controversies and policy decisions are based on religious and scientific beliefs, this reporter decided to visit the "Bible Belt" states of Kentucky, Louisiana and Georgia and Texas.
Politicians in these states pander to "faith-based anti-science values voters." The people in these states that I interviewed confirmed Prothero's findings.
Typical of Bible belt people is Blanche DuBois of New Orleans. She could not name the four Gospels and said she had watched one of Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson shows. She called him a "a science believing atheistic communist."
Lynndie England of Abu Ghraib GA., said that Jesus advocated torture for heretics. Her sister, Herta Bothe England, said that the Golden Rule is "Do it to others before they do it to you."
Both of the sisters said that climate change was a hoax and that the earth was "about 10,000 years old."
Wesley Neal Higdon of Henderson KY. said it was the duty of America's military to spread Christian values throughout the world. Of science He said, " it makes nuclear weapons."
Finally, George W. Bush of North Dallas TX. who interrupted his painting of human skulls to talk to me, said, "Jesus is my favorite philologist."
Mr. Bush said that he did not believe in the theory of evolution and that Neil deGrasse Tyson was " foolishly misinformationed about it and needed to talk his fellow TV celebrity televangelist Pastor John Hagee."