Are religious people stupid? A lot of cultural elites make that claim…but a new study is shedding some light on those beliefs.
The idea is peppered through the writings of scholars, intellectuals, and Atheists: Education is the cure for religion.
Bill Maher famously said on his TV show not too long ago that all religions are stupid and dangerous….suggesting its adherents are too.
A study from the University of Rochester concluded that there is a negative correlation between IQ and religiosity. In other words, smart people are less likely to be religious.
But new data from the Pew Research Center challenges that claim. While Americans with college experience are overall less likely to attend services, pray on a regular basis, and say religion is very important to them, that’s not true within many faith groups.
In fact, Catholic, Mormon, and Protestant college grads are all more likely to attend church on a weekly basis than their less educated peers. This was not the trend among religious minorities like Muslims and Jews, or among people who don’t affiliate with any religion at all, suggesting that education has a distinctive effect on Christianity.
Pew also found educational differences had a much bigger effect on religious practice. Sixty-eight percent of college-educated evangelical Protestants go to church every week, compared to 55 percent of those who only went to high school.
The study leaves the impression that education makes believers more likely to be active in their communities, not less.