I ran across an interesting article in the Deseret News (Salt Lake City) this morning about Gallup surveys that showed the most religious states in the nation, the results were pretty much expected as I grew up in the south and have spent significant time in Utah:
A recent Gallup poll revealed that Mississippi is the most religious U.S. state, and is one of eight states where at least half of the residents are classified as “very religious.” Gallup’s “very religious” designation is based on statements of religion as an important part of an individual’s daily life, as well as worship services attendance. Around 40 percent of Americans nationwide are classified as very religious, while another 32 percent are nonreligious. The remaining 28 percent are moderately religious. As the Gallup data shows, eight of the 10 most religious states in 2011 are in the South, with one located in the Midwest (Oklahoma) and the final state in the West (Utah). Six of the least religious states are in New England and four are in the West. America as a whole remains a religious nation, Gallup states, with more than two-thirds of U.S. residents classified as very or moderately religious.
I went to the Gallup report and grabbed a couple of tables:
As much as we talk about religion and how it is (or is not) important to governance in the US, I thought it would be interesting to look at how religiosity ties to party identification and whether or not the political power centers of the press and government (Washington, D.C., New York and the upper Northeast corridor) are religious or non-religious. I wondered if this might explain some of the anti-religious bias and a characteristic of some northerners that Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain fame calls boreal supremacy:
Years ago, when I was living in Georgia, I coined the term boreal supremacy to describe the attitude of certain people that all things Northern were superior to all things Southern. That attitude has offended me ever since the 1970s, when Yankees started flooding into my native Atlanta, where the municipal motto might as well be, “Will the Last Son of a Bitch Leaving Cleveland Please Turn Out the Lights.”
The newcomers brought with them an arrogant assumption of their own superiority to us local yokels. The late humorist Lewis Grizzard spoke for us when he told those latter-day carpetbaggers that if they didn’t like the South, well, “Delta is ready when you are.” In other words, if all you’re going to do is complain about the way we talk and the way we live, please go the hell back to whatever frostbitten Rust Belt wasteland you came from and stop annoying us with your snooty Yankee putdowns.
Gallup also has surveys of state by state party identification, the tables below are from there:
I realize that the correlation is inferential but based on the anecdotal evidence, the majority alignment of these two tables (as is the alignment of the other two) is curious:
I guess that I wasn’t really surprised to see that the States that lean Democrat are also the states that are the least affiliated with religiosity. Perhaps that explains why the major media outlets that have their headquarters and major operations in those regions seem to have the least amount of understanding of religion and the people and areas where religious belief is strong.
Maybe it also explains the Stacy McCain’s description of boreal supremacy.
I was; however, particularly disturbed to see that the seat of our national government, Washington, D.C., is tied with New York and Rhode Island as the 10th least religious entities (by only 10 points over Vermont and New Hampshire) in the country while being the #1 in Democrat identification by a long shot, 38 points over Rhode Island and 48 over New York. Kind of makes you think that if it weren’t for Republicans and their staffs, DC would be #1 on the least religious as well.