I was raised Catholic and went to Carholic school all the way from pre-k to law school. It wasnít until I was out of school and told by a priest that I was going to hell because I didnít want to procreate that I started really studying the history and origins of all religions. When I realized that most religions are just a different brand of crazy from the next one, I was forced to examine my own faith and come to a similar conclusion. At this point I consider myself an agnostic, since it would be arrogant of me to affirm that there is no God. I also believe that religion is, and has been through the ages, a tool of oppression. Getting rid of religion in my life has been the most liberating experience of my life.
Moreover, I believe parents make a terrible mistake by indoctrinating their children in a certain religion from an early age. My parents did the best they could, but I canít help but resent them for brainwashing me from an early age. They are highly educated people, who always encouraged me to seek my own answers and question everything. If I had been raised in a secular home and encouraged to settle for any religious belief I thought correct, I might have come to same conclusions much earlier, saving me from all the guilt (Oh, the Catholic guilt!) I felt during my younger years.
So yes, I agree with the statement that atheists and agnostics probably know more about religion than religious people. I think if those so-called ďChristians (because they grew up Christian, everyone else is Christian, yada, yada, yada) really examined the source of their beliefs, there wouldnít be as much widespread ignorance. And I donít think this is an American problem, either. I didnít grow up in the U.S. and was never taught about any other religions! I think you have to come from a diverse background (New York City, or the UK, for example) to really come in contact with other beliefs.