Mississippi most religious, Vermont least, survey says

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Want to be almost certain you'll have religious neighbors? Move to Mississippi. Prefer to be in the least religious state? Venture to Vermont.

A new Gallup Poll, based on more than 350,000 interviews, finds that the Magnolia State is the one where the most people — 85% — say yes when asked "Is religion an important part of your daily life?"

Less than half of Vermonters, meanwhile — 42% — answered that same question in the affirmative.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

Posted January 30, 2009 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Vermont at 42% is next door to New York at 56% which is next door to Pennsylvania at 65% and Ohio at 65%.  I would guess that Upstate New York, which is demographically highly unsimilar to the Greater New York City Area, is demographically much more like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Why is Vermont the lowest.  My intuition and interaction with Vermonters tells me that that this is due to the infusion into Vermont of “flat landers” from the Boston, Connnecticut and New York City areas over the past 40 to 50 years.  It seems to me that these “flat landers” are politically much more to the “left” and less religious than native Vermonters.

January 30, 12:05 pm | [comment link]
2. Franz wrote:

Of course, since the transplants have been there for several decades, their kids are now “natives.”

Culturally, Vermont is a very different place than what it was when I was growing up there, but the changes were already well underway by that time (the 1970’s).  They were probably most noticable then in Burlington and Brattleboro, but have spread.

It’s hard to remember that Vermont was once a reliably Republican state, so much so that it was one of only two states to go against Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 (hence, “As Maine goes, so goes Vermont.”)

January 30, 2:05 pm | [comment link]
3. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Interesting, because Mississippi is usually at or near the top of charitable giving per capita as well. I’ve never read anything on Vermont regarding the subject. I imagine there is a correlation.

January 30, 3:25 pm | [comment link]
4. Chris wrote:

also likely, I think, to be the least and most educated states.  which tells me most educated is not as important as it might first appear.

January 30, 3:28 pm | [comment link]
5. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Franz (#2.) said,
“Of course, since the transplants have been there for several decades, their kids are now “natives.” “
Franz, as far as I am concerned, the children of the “flat landers” are more often better labeled as second and third generation ‘colonizers’ rather than as Vermont natives.

That is, they are sustaining the dysfunctional urban culture of their parents in rural Vermont.  Their ‘colonial presence’ is tangible.  You can immediately sense it when you drive into the Burlington or the Manchester areas of Vermont.

The cities of Vermont, including Burlington, Rutland, Manchester and Bennington are suffering from the drug cuture of the 60s that the flat landers brought with them.  And with that drug culture are large numbers dysfunctional people who depend on the tax dollars of others for support because they can’t/won’t hold a job even in good financial times.  I won’t even start to discuss increased illegitamacy rates and their association with the drug culture and the welfare system.

January 30, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
6. Henry Greville wrote:

It’s not just any so-called “drug culture” imported from other parts of the country into Northern New England; after all, Vermonters in particular were known to booze heavily after work was done as far back as the Revolutionary days of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. What is much more significant today is that, alrthough New England’s population was largely Catholic (and church-going), in the first years of this century Catholic dioceses in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts have collectively been enduring so many horrifying sexual abuse scandals and devastating financial settlement payouts that many cradle Catholics in Northern New England have become utterly disgusted, lost their faith, and turned their backs on religion of all kinds.

January 30, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
7. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Henry (#6.) said
“It’s not just any so-called “drug culture” imported from other parts of the country into Northern New England; after all, Vermonters in particular were known to booze heavily after work was done as far back as the Revolutionary days of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys”

Heavy drinking was a common event throughout all of the British Colonies in North America and in Great Britain during the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  It was not unique to Vermont.

Drug use is often compared to the consumption of alcohol by the apologists for the “so-called” “drug culture.”  They are not the same and statistics reveal that ‘dopers,’ drug users, are much more likely to be a burden to society.

And even if drug use could be equated to alcohol, alcohol abuse in Vermont, where I have yet to see one ‘skid-row type,’ does not seem to be a public problem.  However, in Vermont’s cities, prior to the economic downturn and where drug abuse is a problem, there were numerous idle young people, between 18 to 40 years of age that could be seen wandering around during the working day.

One large building supply store Rutland that conducts drug screening as part of its pre-employment process turned down 60% of its applicants because they tested “positive” for recent illegal drug use.  This was about two years ago.

Drug use and its “culture” are problems that have been brought to Vermont by outsiders over the past 40 to 50 years.

Vermont doesn’t need their “drug culture.”

January 30, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
8. Henry Greville wrote:

The point I was trying to make is that the rising number of former Catholics/current church-haters in New England is more to be credited for an increase in expressions of faithfulness than the problems (which aere certainly real and worrisome) caused by illegal narcotics and methamphetamines.

January 30, 6:59 pm | [comment link]
9. Statmann wrote:

So how did TEC do in these two dioceses from 2002 through 2007? Vermony lost 10 percent of its Members and 13 percent of its ASA and Plate & Pedge increased 17 percent which was 1 percent more than 16 percent inflation. It had a very high (81) percentage of Small churches (Plate & Pledge under $150,000) in 2007. And Aging is a real problem with 124 Infant Baptisms and 186 Burials in 2007. In comparison, Mississippi lost 2 percent of Members and 12 percent of ASA and Plate & Pledge increased 4 percent which was well below inflation of 16 percent. Its percentage of Small churches in 2007 was 58 percent. It had 285 Infant Baptisms and 255 Burials in 2007. One might summarize by stating that Vermont is older and richer while Mississippi is younger and poorer. As for the future, I think I would go with Mississippi.    Statmann

January 30, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
10. Old Soldier wrote:

As a New Englander, I remember when Vermont was a New England state.  But now is is a very blue state.  Sad.

January 30, 7:54 pm | [comment link]
11. yohanelejos wrote:

Also interesting that the beloved New Hampshire comes in as second-least religiously committed. Just think of the impact that has had.

January 30, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
12. Henry Greville wrote:

Excuse me, please, for editing myself in #8 above during a period of multi-tasking confusion. Replace “faithfulness” with “faithlessness” and it makes sense.

January 30, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
13. Piedmont wrote:

Mississippi’s population is overwhelmingly Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian.  There are pockets of Catholics scattered around the state but mostly clustered along the river and the coast.

January 31, 5:47 pm | [comment link]
14. Piedmont wrote:

As far as the Episcopalians go whereever you can find three or four there is probably a fifth. grin

January 31, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
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