Religion and Politics by State

Gallup has a new map up, rating each state by religiosity.  Respondents answered whether religion is an important part of their lives, and the map reinforces some of the usual stereotypes about the religiosity of the Deep South and the lack of religiosity in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest.

However, I think the most important parallel is the religiosity map with the electoral map.  Take a gander:

Religion and politics, still bedfellows.

(HT: Mark Silk)

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  • Joel

    Funny how people vote according to their worldview.

  • Michael

    interesting how some of that has shifted in the past 4 years though as more and more religous people do not want their views slimmed down to one or two issues. North Carolina, Virgina, and Indiana are all pretty religous and all swung to Obama.

  • Joel

    …but Arizona, Idaho, and Virginia are all pretty unreligious and went McCain’s way.
    I think there are two type of voters – those who are consistent and those who are inconsistent. If someone holds to a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview, in the current society there really are only two or three issues that are of importance, with one being dominant.
    All it shows me is that people – both religious and nonreligious – tend to vote with their worldview. When the date doesn’t support that, it shows that they’re inconsistent with their worldview.

  • Charlie

    Joel, that idea seems to rely on a number of hefty assumptions:
    1. That “religious” means Judeo-Christian. Not a huge leap but nevertheless…
    2. That to be consistent with one’s world view, one must retain and represent the laundry list of positions, point by needling point.
    3. That the “religious” worldview can be adequately boiled down to accurately underscore an increasingly polarized political climate.
    Perhaps, the inconsistencies between the maps serves only to highlight the growing complexity (thank goodness) of “religiosity” in the US.

  • Joel

    1. The survey asks if a person’s religion is an important part of his or her daily life. Considering most the respondents who said “yes” were in the South, I think it’s a safe bet to assume they were Christians. 😉
    2. I’m saying there are core aspects of a worldview that shape how we act and think. A great book on the issue is “Heaven is a Place on Earth.” The first two chapters deal with how a worldview functions. Another is “Transforming Worldviews” by Paul Hiebert. This explains what shapes a worldview and its impact on the person and the culture surrounding the person. Suffice it to say, one can act in an inconsistent manner in one’s worldview (e.g. someone who believes that we are all made in God’s image and that He forms us in the womb would be inconsistent in supporting abortion), but the more inconsistent or the higher the inconsistency, the less likely that person’s “worldview” is what they claim it to be – that or the belief they say they value they actually don’t value at all.
    3) Well one problem is no worldview is going to be satisfied by either political party right now. For instance, I hold to a Judeo-Christian worldview. This means that I cannot, in good conscience, vote for a part that not only allows, but promotes the death of innocent children in the womb. Likewise, I cannot, in good conscience, support a party that was quick to go to war with a nation that did nothing to us, and then fail to recognize their mistake. The issue for me – if I even choose to vote for either party (hypothetical here) – is what value do I place on each belief? Do I think the government-sponsored killing of innocent children in the womb is greater, lesser, or equal in value to a nation jumping into war without all the facts? Do I think the economic well-being of our nation is of greater, lesser, or equal value to stopping torture practices in the US and abroad? My worldview will dictate how I vote, unless I have a lapse of judgment or don’t actually hold certain beliefs as central to my core of beliefs as I thought.

  • Looking at the pale green Colorado (which looks much browner in real life) it’s important to note how having many large Christian ministries in our communities hasn’t effected the populations of the communities.

  • Joel

    Very astute observation. It seems the modernistic mega-churches haven’t realized that the Gospel is personal and is meant to hold communities together, but reach out to individuals.

  • Charlie, I think it might be a good idea to note that Arizona is the home state of John McCain. If he had not been on the ticket, would the GOP have won in AZ?

  • Interesting that some of the dark green states (North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana) went blue, while none of the “least religious” (save Alaska – I’ll attribute this to the Palin effect) voted red.