Christians Are Smarter Than Atheists

That’s Right, Christians Are Smarter Than Atheists

If you read Breitbart anyway.  The Alt-right trash receptacle that passes for a news organization is always in the habit of attacking atheists and liberals with misrepresentation and flat out bullshit.

The media wing of Alt-right reported antisemite Steve Bannon published this story on December 16, 2016 titled:


Pew Report: Jews and Christians More Educated Than Atheists and Muslims


The author of the article is disgraced Catholic Priest Thomas D. Williams, who had to leave the priesthood after an affair that resulted in him fathering a child.  Mr. Williams proudly announces his PhD. (in theology) on the Breitbart info page, and is a well known political hack using Christianity to justify right wing beliefs.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit Mr. Williams is a fucking hot hunk of man meat, but that doesn’t mean he knows the first fucking thing when talking about demographics, statistics, or religion in the U.S.

Thomas’ article focused on a 2016 Pew Research report  about education around the world. I use these pew reports a lot in my research so I am very familiar with them and it was instantly apparent to me where Father Tom went wrong.

First off, Tom focuses on education internationally, where its absolutely no one’s surprise that Christians and Jews are the most highly educated, since as he even notes,

“These gaps in educational attainment are partly a function of where religious groups are concentrated throughout the world. For instance, the vast majority of the world’s Jews live in the United States and Israel – two economically developed countries with high levels of education overall.”

But once we begin to look within those developed countries we see a change in the numbers.  Thomas takes issue with the New York Times reporting of the story, that focuses on the fact that in the U.S. religious minorities are far more highly educated than Christians.  Of course father Thomas would want to focus on the angle that makes his people look better, but we know better than to accept anything published on Breitbart at face value.

We get a much better look at the numbers when we look at the results of the Pew religious Landscape Survey for the U.S.

The second issue is that pew uses the term “nones” or unafilliated to refer to (as a group) atheists, agnostics and people who say they believe “nothing in particular.”  While these groups may seem very similar, they are very distinct groups with entirely different ideologies.  Not to mention that while atheists and agnostics are both in the top 10 most educated in the United States, those who believe nothing in particular ae the 11th least educated of the 32 groups studied.  Inclusion of the nothing in particular group drags down the education level of the “unafilliated” category.


When you cross reference the top 8 groups above Atheists and Agnostics with their percentages of the population we find that those 8 groups amount to 6.1% of the U.S.  Meanwhile Atheists and Agnostics amount to 7.1% of the population.  Among those top 8 , three are not Christian or Jewish, including the top two.  So in absolute numbers, (if you care to do the math) there are more Atheists with college degrees than Christians or Jews in the U.S.

Father Thomas wrote his article hoping to reinforce the Judeo Christian bias of his readers, I cannot blame him for being a whore.  But I would expect such an educated man to look closer than this and seek the truth.  He knows that his readership is going to be primarily American Christians in the Evangelical family, so fuck the world numbers, focus on what matters.   Additionally the largest denominations of Christians in the U.S. Southern Baptists, Catholics, and evangelicals of various denominations all fall at the bottom.  So perhaps Father Thomas will write a follow up article titled “At Least Catholics Are More Educated Than Southern Baptists”  But I doubt it.

Correction: Thanks to Redditer glaand26 for pointing out that there are more Christians with degrees in the U.S. due to their sheer numbers as a percentage of the population.  What I was trying to get across is that Atheists and Agnostics outnumber all of the top 10 most educated in the country.

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Siserough is a writer, political scientist, student, and hockey player who lives in Berkeley, CA. Go Bears!

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