Some time this past week, the Huffington Post ran a post about the most and least Christian states in the Union.
Here’s the map. It’s kind of small, but dark red: most Christian (55% or more.) Light pink: least Christian (less than 39.9%.)
Read the article and see a bigger map here.
I’m not going to talk about the way the data was collected or the validity of the poll because I don’t know what parameters were set into place for the poll… if it was door to door, mailing, phone, how many people were interviewed, what was considered a Christian, etc.
But I do want to talk about the comments, oy the comments. Personally, I have a love/ hate relationship with blog comments. On the one hand, there are some really great things that are added by people, angles that the original author may have missed or corrections to the piece. On the other hand, the anonymity of the internet allows for people to be really hateful.
- There’s a definite (and unsurprising) correspondence between religiosity and low educational scores. #50 for education – Mississippi, which is #1 for religiosity; Alabama #47 for education, #3 for religion; Louisiana #48 for education, #4 for religion, etc.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/state-education-rankings-_n_894528.html Religion really is the opiate of the masses.
- Now take these lists and match them up to other lists like healthiest and unhealthiest states, most depressed states, greenest states… might not be state for state, but a pattern can possibly exist…
- West Virginia surprises me. Usually you connect most christians with the biggest bigoted states. But WV is one of the biggest bigoted states I’ve ever seen. odd.
- You will notice that the states with the highest number of claimed Christians also have the lowest level of educated people and the most restictive laws on personal freedom as for Ma. I think the count was off and would say that those New Englanders are far less benchwarmers then are those who are south of the Mason Dixon or in the flats of Iowa where you can see nothing for miles on miles!
- When I was young I used to work in a Psychiatric Hospital. I noticed that most of the ‘mentally ill patients were connected to, religion, drugs, or sex. And usually it was a combination of the three if not all three.
- It amazes me that so many minority groups identify as christian, it is sort of like if Jewish people became Nazi after that horrible ordeal and went door to door recruiting.
Among some atheists/ non-religious, there seems to be this assumption that if you believe in God or have Faith you are somehow less intelligent than those without. Granted, some people do have a serious reason for hating Christianity; they may have felt persecuted or hated for what they are doing (case in point: An NC pastor telling parents that they should punch their Gay kids.) Maybe they don’t like feeling shamed for their lifestyle choices (read my post yesterday for a bit of insight on that.) A common feeling is “Stop pushing your beliefs on me!” but at the same time, if you (meaning: you, me, Sam down the road) are out and about in the world, individual beliefs are ALWAYS pushed on you… no matter who you are. (Great case in point: I was out with the girls and a young man came up to me and asked if I had a moment for Gay Rights. Honestly, I didn’t. DD2 was tired and thisclose to a meltdown, and I wanted to get home. So I told him, I really did not at that point, but I would be glad to take some literature. His response: I can see that my rights are not as important as your kids. That’s what you get for breeding. Good Luck, Lady. 0_0. Maybe he was just having a bad day, but damn.)
Some of the most intelligent people I know are God-fearing Christians. They have made the decision to follow Christ and it was not made lightly. Some have taken the religion of their parents, and chosen to learn MORE about said religion and that has lead them more deeply into a relationship with Christ. Some (like me) have abandoned the religion of their parents for a different religion. Some have had firm teachings of correct principles and have not had to make any change. There are bad apples in every organization and in every walk of life, but if we start to assume that the entire group is made of of the same types of people, where would we be? Thank God I know that not all homosexuals are as angry as the young man above, but what if I didn’t? What if the only impression of gay men I had was what I saw on TV (fabulous!) or what I experienced there (mean!)
This stereotype of Christians being unintelligent is not only wrong, but it is hurtful and hateful. And who wants to be hurtful and hateful?