I found something interesting online today and thought I would share. It is a study of religiosity in the US by state. This Gallup polls asked people if religion played an important part in their daily lives and ranked the states by the percentage who said yes. You can look a table of top ten most religious and ten least religious. And if you scroll down they have a nice map.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
A couple of things jump out from the table and map.
First, the four New England States (VT, NH, ME and MA) are the four least religious states in the country. As of now, all four of these relatively secular states recognize marriage equality.
Second, on the map, it is shocking how highly correlated being dark green and being a former slave state is. The old confederacy sticks out like a sore thumb as the most religious part of the country by far.
Third, in an earlier debate in related threads, LTG predicted that Iowans would soon overturn the marriage equality ruling of their supreme court in large part because of Iowa's supposedly high levels of religiosity (he referred to it as being "in the bible belt" among other things). Iowa is more religious than New England and California. But one would never in a million years confuse Iowa for the Deep South with regard to religiosity. Iowa is merely average - indeed if you look at the table on page two of the link above, Iowa is 26th out of 50 in terms of religiosity (California is 39th). To give him credit, LTG was not suggesting that Iowa was like the Deep South. But Iowa's perceived religiosity was an underlying theme of his arguments in these related threads. What's interesting about this map is that it suggests that except for the extremes - New England vs The Old Confederacy - religiosity, at least measured as broadly as it is here, may not be the dominant factor. If it were, we would not expect the less religious California to have seen such a rapid voter backlash while the Iowans with more average levels of religiosity sit patiently by. The lesson may be that institutional differences between California and Iowa are the decisive factor (see our conversation about the rules for amending the respective state constitutions) rather than differences in religiosity and - if memory serves - this was the conclusion that LTG and I more or less converged on in our debate earlier.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 1:47 PM