According to Stephen Prothero, America is both “deeply religious and profoundly ignorant about religion.” Personal belief in God remains high. Americans say that their convictions shape their public behaviors, and most support the idea of religious organizations participating in public policy issues. Yet surveys show that the majority of Americans cannot name even one of the four Gospels. Only one-third know that it was Jesus who delivered the Sermon on the Mount, and 10 percent think that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
Prior to the Allied campaign in North Africa, GIs were issued handbooks designed to prepare them for the strange new lands in which they would fight: “Don’t refer to the people as heathen, they are very religious.
Woody Allen famously pointed out that the problem is not that God doesn’t exist, but that he is an underachiever. The philosophical tendency for at least the past three centuries has been to assume that the human estimation of God is more significant than the divine estimation of humanity.
In 2002, Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz published a controversial but influential book titled Globalization and Its Discontents. Stiglitz had just resigned his position as chief economist at the World Bank, in part because of controversy over his criticism of his own institution and others.