Saturday, September 16, 2006

Morality, life's blessing and religion Part 2 The Jesusland States

Now to try and determine Jesusland states. Remember I am looking at the religiosity of each state and the kind of religions that dominate not at how they vote.

Any state with a large number of fundamentalist sects and a low number of non believers is part of Jesusland no matter how they vote. From part one we already know that Utah is clearly in Jesusland. But it is a special case. Mormons are a very weird sect of Christian and, in fact, I’m not even sure they are really Christian. They are polytheistic and have lots of wacko doctrines invented by a con man named Joseph Smith. But that is another topic. I would put them on our list of states in Jesusland. After I have the list I will narrow it down to 11 states so we have an even comparison.

We get some immediate candidates for Jesusland with the Bible-belt states. Here are some of them.

Alabama has 46% of its population attending fundamentalist churches. Even some of their mainstream sects have large fundie minorities. Definitely in Jesusland.

Arkansas is at least 54% fundamentalist. No question. Jesusland.

Georgia is 45% fundamentalist. Jesusland.

Kentucky is 43% fundamentalist. Not as Jesusland as the Deep South but still a member of Jesusland.

Louisiana is 39% fundamentalist with 28% Catholic but Cajun Catholics tend to be more orthodox than their Eastern Seaboard compatriots. Clearly in Jesusland.

Missouri has 22% of the population Baptist and there are another 8% that attend other clearly fundamentalist churches. A bit less fundie than most Southern states so we may drop it if we have enough for comparison.

Mississippi. I have no doubt where this one falls. Almost two-thirds of the population are fire-breathing fundies. This is the heart of Jesusland.

North Carolina is 44% fundamentalist. Jesusland.

Oklahoma is 30% Baptist and 12% more attend other fundie sects. Jesusland. More Southern in temperament than Western.

South Carolina is clearly Jesusland with 48% attending fundamentalist churches and a large number of “mainstream” churches being more fundie than liberal.

Tennessee is Jesusland with 45% attending fundamentalist churches.

Texas is a very conservative state but has a large Catholic population. But still Baptists make up 21% of the population and other fundie sects account for another 9% of the population. it has a relative low level of non believers. Texas seems to be on the verge of being Western America but is deeply Southern in many ways. It’s in Jesusland.

Virginia is 35% fundamentalist but is also 14% Catholic and 12% with no religion. Mainstream sects are also strong with 17%. This state is still in Jesusland but it is not clearly so.

If we exclude Virginia we have 12 states not counting Utah which is more Mormon than Christian. I’ll exclude Utah from the list and we need to drop one more state to have 11 on each side. Missouri is our best candidate for reasons outlined above. So our 11 Jesusland states will be Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

With 11 states in Jesusland and 11 members of the Secular States of America we can see how moral they are and whether God blesses them. Since all are part of the United States they should have a lot in common. And we shall see if the god-fearing states do better in various categories than the more secular states. If we find the same pattern as was found in the study mentioned in part one then I think we have confirmed their findings. If we find things don’t pan out then it means there are other issues the first study needs to consider as well. I don’t know what we’ll find yet but we shall see won’t we?


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