Hey everyone, Ron Gold here.
This news isn’t a surprise, but now it’s official:
Mississippi is the America’s most religious state, according to a Pew Forum study on the levels of devotion in America, which asked respondents whether religion is important in their lives. Eighty-two percent of Mississipians said yes.
Mississippi also leads the nation in weekly church attendance (60%), in frequency of daily prayer (77%), and in the number of people who believe in God (91%).
So does God reward the citizens of Mississippi for their high levels of faith? I can’t say for certain, but I can cite these facts I gleaned from extensive Wikipedia research:
–Mississippi ranked dead last among all the states in terms of overall health according to the Commonwealth Fund. On the bright side, food is abundant, as the state has very high levels of obesity.
–Their 2006 per capita income was the lowest in the country at $26,908 (though this is somewhat offset by Mississippi’s low cost of living).
–Finally, in 2008, the state ranked last in academic achievement by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Now contrast Mississippi with Vermont and New Hampshire, the two least religious states according to the Pew Forum study (only 54% of people in these states reported a belief in God). As far as I can tell, these largely godless states have not been punished with severe natural disasters, poor public health, bad education, or horrible economies.
Not that I hate Mississippi–I wish I were there right now, out of freezing weather and an impending blizzard–but it might be time for the fine people of that state to reexamine their priorities.