And I thought Civics were cars…

ISI has just released the results of its American Civic Literacy Quiz. Apparently the average score for college seniors was 50.4%. Couldn’t be that bad, I thought. So I took the test.

Yikes. It’s a little tougher than those Jay Leno, “man on the street” quizzes. I thought I aced the thing, only to find I got 85% correct.

I guess it’s better than the 69.56% that Harvard seniors scored, and far better than the 53.40% score by University of Florida students (hey I’ve got to take my Florida victories where I can get them!), but it still highlights well the gaps in American education, including my own.

So how well do you do stack up against today’s college seniors in Civics? Take the quiz and find out.

4 thoughts on “And I thought Civics were cars…”

  1. You beat me. Argh! I only got 80%.

    Speaking of civics, I’ve been reading “Foolishness to the Greeks” by Lesslie Newbigin about which you posted recently. (It’s a kind of theory handbook for missionaries in the modern West. You can search it in Google Books and at Amazon. I got it via interlibrary loan.)

    From page 130:

    “Whatever the form of government – monarchy, oligarchy, democracy, one-party rule, or any combination of these – there are in fact men and women who exercise power over their fellow men and women. Their authority to do so rests on God’s gracious ordering of his world”

    Well, I happen agree with the Declaration of Independence which says that governments derive their powers not from God but from the consent of the governed.

    And from page 140:

    “With such an understanding [of tolerance], we can envision a state (whether or not such a thing is a present political possibility) that acknowledges the Christian faith as true, but deliberately provides for the full security of other views.”

    No, no, no. The tolerance we have seen from the Christians has not been such that we are anxious to depend upon it. Forgive my speaking so bluntly, but it is the truth. (Forgive *me* Peter Lorre.) As Kevin Seamus Hasson says in relation to religious government in “The Right To Be Wrong”: “Tolerance, in short is just a policy choice of the government, not a right of the people. And policy choices can be reversed. The notion of tolerance though, is a Rasputin of an idea. Thoroughly discredited, it refuses to die.” Nobody, Christian or not, can be relied upon to deliver on a promise tolerance.

  2. Ron,

    Regarding quote from page 130, you say:

    Well, I happen agree with the Declaration of Independence which says that governments derive their powers not from God but from the consent of the governed.

    I don’t think the Declaration of Independence is prohibitive of ultimate authority coming from God. After all the sentence just before the one that speaks of governments “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” speaks of people’s “unalienable rights” which “are endowed by their Creator.”

    A hierarchy is present, even in the Lockian thought present in Jefferson’s Declaration (Locke himself was a theist, as was Jefferson). In this view, God gives the power to the people, who in turn give it to governments.

    On your second point, you raise an issue that is worth further consideration in another post. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll try to address the notion of tolerance in a post this week, and see what you think.

    Thanks for your always pointed observations.

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