Monday, January 12, 2009


ER: Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestant

At The3rddegree's suggestion, I retook the Belief-o-atic quiz.

Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestant.

Whew. Last night I took it and it came back Unitarian Universalist. Sleeping must reawaken my inner Trinitarian. :-) Actually, the other time I took the quiz, it was a close race among UU, Mainline/Lib Protestant and Neo-Pagan.

Y'alls' selves?


Same as last time for me: UU (100%), Liberal Quaker (91%) and then a sharp percentage drop from there.
My top five:
1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (95%)
3. New Thought (92%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (87%)

My bottom five are:
23. Sikhism (35%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (28%)
25. Roman Catholic (28%)
26. Jehovah's Witness (11%)
27. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (0%)
Sounds about right. Both of ours.
Hah! Dr LBJ can't count, that's why unitarian came first in four of a claimed "five." (What's he hiding?)


1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quaker (95%)
3. Neo-Pagan (93%)
4. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (84%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (76%)

Good ole American religion.
Prefacing this with the comment that these quizzes leave something to be desired in the wording of their questions, my top and bottom 5s.

1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (99%)
3. Eastern Orthodox (92%)
4. Roman Catholic (92%)
5. Seventh Day Adventist (79%)

23. Neo-Pagan (27%)
24. New Age (23%)
25. Nontheist (22%)
26. Secular Humanism (20%)
27. Taoism (17%)
WTH *is* a neo-pagan, anyway?
A humanist in bad economic times (i.e. maybe there could be a deity that "saves", evil, undeserved suffering).
1. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (97%)
2. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (95%)
3. Orthodox Quaker (97%)
4. Eastern Orthodox (88%)
5. Roman Catholic (88%)

Not particularly surprising, though the quiz questions pretty much sucked.

Orthodox Quaker?? Heh.
Wow. Are you dizzy all the time? 97 percent conservative and 95 percent lib? :-)
lol. Nah. Remember, it's just how much that particular "religion" agrees with your beliefs. Since conservative and liberal Christians agree with each other probably 99% of the time, it's not too surprising that they'd agree with me much of the time (particularly since the quiz doesn't really ask many questions that would separate the two.)

What I find interesting is that there is so much convergence (supposedly, if you believe the assumptions behind the questions) behind such diverse faith traditions. Heck, according to this quiz, even the JWs get it right about 11% of the time. ;)

Then why do several of us have much larger separation between Liberal and Conservative Mainline Protestantism?

There is enough in the quiz to make large distinctions between the theological styles of the two.

Just not in your case.
Here are my top five:
1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (77%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (75%)
4. Orthodox Quaker (75%)
5. Unitarian Universalism (71%)

Orthodox Quaker? Huh?

I like my bottom five:
23. Taoism (32%)
24. Theravada Buddhism (32%)
25. Nontheist (30%)
26. Jehovah's Witness (20%)
27. Jainism (14%)
My sister-in-law would be heart-broken, not only because being a Witness would be toward the bottom of my list, but also because it was included with Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism, as well as "Non-theism", which could also be Buddhism.
I can only guess, because obviously I didn't design the thing, but the quiz supposedly takes into account not only your opinion on a question, but also gives it a priority (whatever that's supposed to mean.) So, on whichever questions that might tease out whatever the quiz designer thinks is a difference between conservative/liberal christianity (which I'd bet money had nothing to do with theology, but were probably the abortion ad homosexuality questions), if one answered the question itself in a particular way, and ascribed greater priority to that question than I did, then I assume the percentage difference between the two would be greater, even if we actually answered the question itself in the same way.

In addition, the quiz is not measuring (again, allegedly) the similarity or difference between the religions themselves, but the overlap between your beliefs and various religions.

Also I didn't answer one question because there was no correct answer. So, given that the test has so few questions, not answering one may influence the percentages a great deal.

But of course all that is just speculation since obviously I didn't design the quiz.
I don't remember the numbers from my own quiz, GKS, but I find it kinda funny that both of us had more in common with a "non-theist" than with JWs. I'm not even sure how to interpret that result, but it's amusing, and not something I'd guess that a JW would appreciate. lol
Mahayana Buddhism is theist, historically in the split with Theraveda and still in many "schools" within Mahayana. Pure Land Buddhism even has a heaven.
Since I am not now, nor have ever been, a Buddhist, I guess I just have to say, "OK", to Feodor's correction. I guess I always thought Buddhism didn't have "gods" per se. I still think it's funny that for me, and Alan apparently, being a witness is right down there with being a non-theist.

Don't Jains believe the Universe is billions of years old, have multiple gods, and are pretty peace-loving folks? Wasn't Mohandis Ghandi a Jain? Too bad I don't have much in common with them.
I thought Jainists were afraid to walk because, like, it kills insects.
On Jains, see:

If you're more interested in quibbling with questions, go back to Beliefnet and take their quiz on spirituality. There were several questions in it that left out options or were otherwise odd.
Fedor asked: "Hah! Dr LBJ can't count, that's why unitarian came first in four of a claimed "five." (What's he hiding?)

I am a devoted Ralphist.
ER: "WTH *is* a neo-pagan, anyway?"

It is those Pagans who only eat low fat sacrifices.
OK, I know I am going to pay for this: clue me in on "Ralphist."

Buddhism began in opposition to the rites, speculation, and notions of grace and the supernatural of the religions of Gautama's day.

However, a split came between those who fastidiously stuck to Buddha's words as recorded (Theraveda's strict Pali canon of Buddha's sayings) and those who drew lessons from his life as well (Mahayana) and expanded on the strict Pali canon.

For Mahayana, "Great Raft," there is a grace in the universe propelling or drawing everything to its end. And Buddha became a savior who draws all things toward liberation by "the glorious rays of his hands."

For Theraveda (called "Small Raft" by Mahayana for limiting true Buddhist pursuit to monks only and not open to laity), Buddha was a saint, an exemplar, and, generally speaking, every one is on his own in seeking nirvana.

This split occurred in the 5th century CE.
No surprise - 100% Secular Humanist, with Unitarian Universalist coming in at 94%.
Neo-paganism is an umbrella term that includes Wicca and other earth-based philosophies and practices. If it shows up high on your results, it probably means that you don't tend to have strict adherence to creedal beliefs. The less orthodox/fundamentalist you are, the higher you'll probably score on the neo-pagan scale. But anyway, even though I was the one who recommended you try the quiz, it's actually kinda silly, which is why they even gave it a silly name.
F said:"OK, I know I am going to pay for this: clue me in on "Ralphist."

Well, I met my first Ralphist at Dian,RVN in 1968. He was an early member of the original Oakland Chapter of the HAMCC(Hells Angels Motor Cycle Club). He was a follower of Ralph (Sonny) Barger, the original founding member of HAMCC. Ralph was spiritual in his hedonism and philosophy which of course was stirred with violence. Ralphism in former years consisted of equal parts agnosticism, Harleys,alcohol, and shrooms for mystical experiences at 100 mph.
Shroomery is taking the lead these days. The HAMCC connection is not there now.
I was thinking maybe it was Simpsons related and then everyone would know that I don't know a thing about the Simpsons.

Dodged a bullet.
Simpsons: me neither.

Ralph is still alive and has his own dot com. I guess that makes him a living god. I noticed on his site he doesn't mention the Ralphism stuff.
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