Fact and Fiction

Last week Pew Research released a new study about the president and religion. The findings are highly concerning.

(from Flickr user jmtimages)

Compared to a year ago, more people believe President Obama is Muslim, fewer people believe he is a Christian, and more people are unsure.

This isn't an opinion poll. It's a simple test of fact. Unlike a question such as: do you think the president doing a good job? Asking what religion the president practices is simply a question about the way things are. There is a right and a wrong answer. A majority of Americans cannot answer correctly.

Perhaps what's most bothersome is that media has chosen to report the Pew study as if it were an opinion poll. Doing this is like performing a study that asks people what color bananas are. Imagine that only a third of respondents answer yellow. The rest say 'purple' or 'don't know' or 'other'. Media can run headlines that say "more Americans now believe bananas are purple," and hopefully it's obvious how ridiculous that sounds.