Most Religious States

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by wavingrl, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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  2. TheOldSchool
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    TheOldSchool Gold Member

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    What's crazy is the list goes in order from red states, to swing-states, and then to blue states
     
  3. TheOldSchool
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    TheOldSchool Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    I reread the article and it seems to be based on regular church attendance. Only 19% for VT. I think CA had 35%.

    Not certain how useful the data would be. I don't go to church regularly but have religious beliefs.
     
  5. koshergrl
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    koshergrl Gold Member

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    Cali is full of Baptists and Catholics.
     
  6. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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  7. Pogo
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    Pogo Gold Member

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    Exactly - it's a flawed methodology:
    Overall, 40% of Americans nationwide were classified as very religious in 2012 -- based on saying religion is an important part of their daily life and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week. Thirty-one percent of Americans were nonreligious, saying religion is not an important part of their daily life and that they seldom or never attend religious services. The remaining 29% of Americans were moderately religious, saying religion is important in their lives but that they do not attend services regularly, or that religion is not important but that they still attend services. (Gallup)

    -- they're equating "attending services" with "being religious", which is a false equivalence. Those who either don't have services that reflect their outlook, or who don't believe organized congregations are a part of religiousness, cannot be counted. Thus, flawed methodology. I doubt Gallup would know what religion was if it galloped up to their home office and demanded "what in the wide world of sports kind of poll is this?".

    Just as disturbing, the original AJC article crows: "The good news? America, despite the best efforts of ice cream-creating non-creationists in Vermont, is still “a religious nation", and goes on, "a state with a small population apparently hellbent on tugging a loose thread of the moral fabric of American society". Self-righteous elitist crap. The AJC is usually a better paper than that.

    The comments on the article are interesting though.
     
  8. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    I took that as dry humor. The article seemed to have been written in an informal style--might have been a blog--I can't recall.

    Anyway--in general, I would personally rank CA as less religious than VT.

    It seems like it was about this time last year that a vote on the 'selling liquor in grocery/package stores on Sunday' was pending. Lots of discussion--each county/city or town now decides for itself.
     
  9. Pogo
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    Pogo Gold Member

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    I have lived in both VT and CA but couldn't possibly presume to declare "how religious" the population of either one is, since religion is a personal matter. That question probably cannot even be answered at all; it would be like asking "what's the most beautiful state?" I have to wonder what point Gallup was trying to make by even attempting this question, flawed methodology and all. In one sense, everybody is religious, regardless how we choose to exercise it, or where, or when. At best they could ask nothing more than "how religious do you consider yourself" and leave out all the stereotype garbage about attending "services", as if that's the only manifestation there is. :bang3:

    Me, I happen to live in a lush forest teeming with flora and fauna, and as far as I'm concerned that's a lot more of a church than any building with a point on it where some guy in a dress chants in a language nobody speaks any more and the neighbors gather to cackle on who's not buying the lemming juice. But the Gallup methodology couldn't handle that.

    In the AJC story the verbage on Vermont was colourful, but I was more concerned with the phrase "the good news", which illogically projects the writer's own prejudices. I don't get the impression that writer contemplated the methodology at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  10. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    I agree--not really possible to measure 'how religious'. I suppose that is why I didn't pay a great deal of attention to what was written.
     
  11. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 USMB Mod Staff Member

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    Why would you expect california to be the least? There are millions of religious people. Just because there happens to be more total nutjobs ruining the state doesn't mean there aren't millions of faithful. (And unfortunately, those two groups do overlap in areas).
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  12. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    forget that I even said that.

    It is a large state=-35% of the population would be fewer people, perhaps--than smaller states with lower percentages? maybe that is what I thought. Probably wrong and not worth further discussion.

    If this poll is based on regular church attendance it has already been discussed that is not a precise indicator of those who hold religious beliefs.
     
  13. Underhill
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    Underhill Active Member

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    But it's not.

    This from the piece...

    "Vermont, a state with a small population apparently hellbent on tugging a loose thread of the moral fabric of American society, is the least religious state. Only 19 percent of the population there says they go to church regularly or consider religion an important part of their life."

    So someone could stay home but consider religion an important part of their life and be counted.
     
  14. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    Maybe Pogo will return and debate this with you.

    It seems a generic sort of compilation of data--possibly gives a relatively accurate view of the US.

    MS is 'the most religious state' and MS has some major challenges. The same could be said about each state I suppose.

    GA chose to vote last year on allowing municipalities to sell liquor in package stores on Sunday and beer and wine in grocery stores. It was discussed thoroughly. I assume this poll was useful at that time.
    We have the lottery--which funds scholarships and educational programs. It is not likely that casinos or other gambling options will be approved. Policies like that could be attributed to religion.

    I have never been to VT and traveled only briefly in CA. I know both are designated as Blue states. They seem different. I suppose I picture New England with 'a lot' of churches --how the religious views have evolved over time is another matter. I know that if you visited GA and for some reason began to ask random people about their religious beliefs, which I wouldn't advise--you would quite possibly encounter more people who would respond affirmatively than not.

    This is not the greatest article or study on this topic available--imo.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  15. Pogo
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    Pogo Gold Member

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    I think we agree, it's not. At best it might better have been called a poll on which states are the most churchgoing, for whatever that's worth, which isn't much.

    I don't see a bone of contention to debate here; if I read correctly we all agree on the above, that church/synagogue/mosque attendance rates do not equate to being more or less "religious". At best we might say it equates to a rate of compliance with stereotypical standards, reducing the concept of "religiousness" to how often one shows up in a building, which waters down the entire concept of spirituality to a lowest common denominator.

    OTOH if we take a human level of religiousness to be a constant among all people in all places (which I think is a reasonable assumption) then the poll may indicate which states are the least creative (e.g. Mississippi) in their spiritual expression.

    I don't think the poll was weighted for population density but Vermont is the most rural state in the country --"rural" meaning percentage of population who live in urban versus rural settings. So more folks there live far from their town, go there with limited frequency and travel on rustic roads when they do go. So a poll asking "how often do you go to a grocery store" would presumably place the state at the same level.

    I would however have to question this:
    It's hard to take that bit seriously at all when you live a short drive from ... South Carolina. :eek:
     
  16. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Supporting Member

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    Interesting poll and like the OP, I would like to know what questions they used to determine who is 'most religious' and who is 'moderately religious' and who isn't religious at all. At least the first ten of the published comments on the story were from people who appear to hold a very low opinion of the religious.

    The reason I would like to see what questions were used is because I would probably be listed among the most religious if affiliation with and activity, including attendance, in an organized church or synagogue, etc. is used as the basis for 'most religious.' But I consider myself to be pretty unreligious as I don't put much importance on any creed or activity in any denomination as necessary to my faith, but enjoy the activity in many.
     
  17. wavingrl
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    wavingrl Senior Member

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    That clarifies somewhat what I have been trying to say.

    As for the comments--not sure I even looked at them but that would be 'typical' of those who would choose to respond to an AJC article.

    Much was said about 'religion' impeding progress, etc last year. Basically those that reside somewhere in metro Atlanta--a rather broad area have 'different' views of religion from those in more rural areas of the state. Not something I want to discuss again.

    eh- MS--LA-AL --among the more religious states but along the panhandle gambling and the sale of liquor are not an issue. I can tell you that the state of GA will not stray far from its roots---how it eventually works out--who knows. There has been any Headline News on how selling liquor on Sunday has worked out. Guess it has worked out well enough.
     
  18. Pogo
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    Pogo Gold Member

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    I left this link directly to Gallup up above. The Gallup page is titled "Mississippi Maintains Hold as Most Religious State", so as one who's been intimately familiar with Mississippi since early childhood I knew right off the bat that something in there wasn't adding up.

    Foxy brings up a great point here that the poll doesn't address, and that is the role of church/temple as a community resource, outside and independent of religion, because let's face it, countless church/synagogue/temple activities serve that vital role of community nexus in events that have nothing to do with religion. In some rural areas a generic "community center", unaffiliated with religion, will serve the same purpose, but if you're not lucky enough to have that resource, the church may be literally the only game in town. So the question of "attending church" cannot be reduced to a simple conclusion of "religious/not religious".

    I have to say I miss the aspect of church-as-community-meeting-place. For me it just comes at too high a price.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  19. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Supporting Member

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    But it is important not to confuse 'legalism' or 'rigid rules' with how religious a person might be. A whole lot of us Christian folks will occasionally enjoy some time at a casino. I don't, for health reasons, but probably most Christians enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a cold beer now and then, or even something stronger, and would probably purchase that on Sunday if it was allowed. I once did communications for an Episcopal Diocese, and by extention, for the national Episcopal Church--no, I am not Episcopalian--that is notorious for enjoying alcohol at many of its social functions. I achieved a degree of national fame by writing a directive of how to accommodate both drinkers and non drinkers at such functions. :) I'm sure most Episcopalians would describe themselves as religious.

    I'm pretty sure that poll didn't evaluate a person's degree of religious fervor by asking them a lot of questions about do's and don't associated with their religion. :)
     
  20. Gadawg73
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    Gadawg73 VIP Member

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    Being religious, especially Christian, means you do not have to ever tell anyone.
    They will know it by your actions.
    Not some silly "study" done by a lame brain media "expert" looking for a way to get exposure.
    Many religious people would refuse to offer any opinions so they would be put down as non religious and not attending church.
     

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