Rick Santorum has been flogging the idea that college makes you less religious. Sorry, I personally wish it were so, but studies and polls are mixed at best. In fact, by some metrics they show just the opposite:
(TPM) — A study published 2007 in the journal Social Forces — which PBS reports that Santorum’s claim is based on, although his spokesman didn’t respond to TPM’s request for confirmation — finds that Americans who don’t go to college experience a steeper decline in their religiosity than those who do. “Contrary to our own and others’ expectations, however, young adults who never enrolled in college are presently the least religious young Americans,” the journal concluded, noting that “64 percent of those currently enrolled in a traditional four-year institution have curbed their attendance habits. Yet, 76 percent of those who never enrolled in college report a decline in religious service attendance.”
Going to college does correct some widely held, easily debunked fundamenatlist beliefs, like creationism, or climate change denialism (I’d be willing to bet women’s health and the Occupay Wall Street also fare well among college educated respondants). So we can see why the Teaparty crowd might view education as a threat or try to pretend it’s an attack on religion: education confers resistance to both conservative fundamentalism and their political agenda.