TV Report on Religion Features UMES Students

  • Friday, November 19, 2010

    Ten UMES students sat for a multiple-choice test in October that they did not study for and received no grade. They took it with a TV camera rolling and discussed their reactions and results.

    As part of WBOC-TV's recurring news feature, "Heart and Soul," UMES students voluntarily answered an abbreviated version of a questionnaire created by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. 

    UMES students performed far better on the quiz than most people - reinforcing a Pew Forum finding that those with a college education know more about religion.

    Reporter Lisa Bryant began her two-minute 40-second report that aired Nov. 18 by noting "For most, this was probably the easiest test they've taken all semester."

    Among the questions:*

    1. When does the Jewish Sabbath begin?
    2. What was Mother Theresa's religion?
    3. What was Joseph Smith's religion?
    x

    Keith Savage, a senior majoring in English who got every question right, said "those (who) limit themselves to a religion don't take the time to identity or understand other religions."

    "So, it kind of puts the blinders on and they are only concerned with what they want to know and not with the bigger picture and how it relates to everyone," said Savage, who describes himself as an atheist.

    Junior Robynne Warren said she grew up in a Protestant church, where bread and wine served at Communion are considered symbols. Catholics believe the two become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the inspiration for a question that tripped up most of the students.

    Bryant engaged all 10 volunteers, asking each to discuss their answers. Lack of awareness about other religions can be a source of tension, Bryant noted.

    Randall Hill, a junior, said, "The Bible says … people perished for the lack of knowledge. There is so much bigotry and so much hatred … there are so many things that we shouldn't have because we don't know.

    Joe'Ella Caddle, a graduate student, said, she thinks that as "a multi-cultural nation," Americans should "have a general understanding of the different religions" people practice.

    Bryant ended her report pointing out that "At least on this culturally diverse campus, what makes each person different …is what brings them together."

    {*Answers: (1) - Friday night; (2) Catholic; (3) Mormon}

     


    Caption: WBOC reporter Lisa Bryant, left, interviews senior Cherish McMillan and juniors Randall Hill and Robynne Warren for a televised report where UMES students discussed what they know about the world's great religions.

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     Bill Robinson, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, wrobinson3@umes.edu.