ARE PRESBYTERIANS AND MISSOURI SYNOD LUTHERANS RED STATERS?
Outside of the colonial and antebellum America period I'm not much up on social history since my academic research was entirely in economic and diplomatic subfields. Having thus qualified my remarks, I will say that religion has always played a looming role in American history and political movements, particularly those aiming at reform or renewal.
Most readers are familiar with the connection between the Deism of many Founding Fathers and their preference for religious freedom and sectarian tolerance, the religious motivation of Abolitionists and the evangelism of Temperance advocates and both sides of the 19th century debate over imperialism. Therefore I took great interest in the
latest post by Geitner Simmons
that maps the United States by religious denominations from mainstreeam Methodists to charismatic Pentacostalist Christians to Muslims
"Consider the degree of religious adherence — acknowledging one's membership in a particular religious grouping. According to this map, developed by the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Research Center, religious adherence is greatest in the middle of the country — from Texas and Louisiana up through the Dakotas. Religious adherence in the Southeast, long dubbed the "Bible Belt," is more spotty that one might expect. The American West, with the exception of Utah, has long been described by scholars of the region as an area with weak religious intensity, and the map buttresses that conclusion. Religious adherence is generally strong in the Mid-Atlantic region. Of course, while North Dakota stands out on the map as an area of particular intensity, the population of that state is quite small compared to the populations of, say, Oregon or Florida, where religious enthusiasm is noticeably weaker.
Differences within a region are particular interesting. Consider Wisconsin and Michigan. Both are populous states in the Upper Midwest. Yet, the degree of religious adherence is strikingly different between the two. Wisconsin clearly is part of a cultural pattern that includes its regional neighbors such as Miinnesota, Iowa and the eastern portion of the Dakotas. Michigan, in contrast, stands out for a markedly low degree of religious intensity, a trait it has in common with large sections of its neighbors Ohio and Indiana.
The graphics for the maps are highly detailed ( attention cartographiles Curzon, Younghusband
) and, as always, Geitner's commentary enlightens. Check it out