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Archive for Sunday, January 3, 2010

Kansas ranks high on U.S. religious index

The Pew Research Center has released state rankings on religion. Kansas ranks between 10 and 14 on the four measures examined. The Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, said he feels the high ranking in religious commitment is positive, and possibly a way to further promote the values in a given religion. “At the end of the day, I’m glad and honored to be a pastor in a state like Kansas,” he said.

The Pew Research Center has released state rankings on religion. Kansas ranks between 10 and 14 on the four measures examined. The Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church, said he feels the high ranking in religious commitment is positive, and possibly a way to further promote the values in a given religion. “At the end of the day, I’m glad and honored to be a pastor in a state like Kansas,” he said.

January 3, 2010

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How religious is Kansas?

According to the Pew Research Center’s recent study on religion:

• Kansas ranked 10th in worship attendance, as 47 percent of Kansans say they attend a religious ceremony at least once a week. The national average was 39 percent.

• 61 percent of Kansans say that “religion is very important in their lives,” placing them 13th in the country on this measurement.

• Kansas ranked 14th in both belief in God and frequency of prayer. Nearly 80 percent of Kansans say “they believe in God with absolute certainty,” while 62 percent say they pray at least once per day.

• To view the entire report by the Pew Research Center: www.pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=504

On the street

Do you consider yourself a religious person?

I would consider myself more spiritual. All sorts of connotations come with the word ‘religious.’

More responses

How religious are Kansans?

More religious than residents of most states, according to recent rankings by the Pew Research Center.

Kansas ranked in the top 15 for four measures studied, which were residents’ belief in God, frequency of prayer, worship attendance and importance of religion.

Kansas found itself clustered with southern states, which ranked high in the study, and close to its neighbors Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Mississippi ranked first on all four measures.

The rankings came as no surprise to some local clergy.

“There is an openness in Kansas to the divine,” said the Rev. Peter Luckey of Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.

Kent Winters-Hazelton, pastor at First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway, said the importance of religion to Kansans is visible locally as well.

“This area of Kansas is a much more churched area,” he said. “There is clearly a strong emphasis of religion here in Lawrence.”

But a Kansas University professor of religion, Tim Miller, questioned what the rankings mean, and whether religious commitment is something that actually can be measured.

“It’s all a little slippery,” Miller said. “I would question how accurately that can be measured.”

Miller cited what he terms “subjective guilt” in surveys about religion. Many people believe they should be religious, so they will say that they are when asked, he said.

But is a high religious ranking a positive for the state?

That’s a difficult question to answer, said Joey Ralph, president of KU’s Society of Open-minded Atheists and Agnostics.

“It’s hard to tell if it’s a good or bad thing,” he said, adding that the survey failed to differentiate between open-minded religious practices and those that he terms “more fervent.”

The more important question may be whether someone who identifies with being religious is acting in ways that improve the world, such as promoting social justice, Winters-Hazelton said.

“(Being religious) doesn’t necessarily mean those things are happening,” he said.

But from a pastor’s perspective, a high rank in religious commitment is positive, and possibly a way to further promote the values in a given religion, Luckey said.

“At the end of the day, I’m glad and honored to be a pastor in a state like Kansas,” he said.

Comments

anon1958 4 years, 11 months ago

Achieving near parity with Mississippi in any ranking means that your state is likely in serious decline.

In Louisiana, when the state rankings are released the cry of "Thank God for Mississippi" resounds throughout the bayous. For you see the state of Mississippi has long protected Louisiana from placing dead last in any important category.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

What exactly do your mean by religious? There is a certain poster on here who always signs "Darwin Bless You All" and I'd consider him religious; his faith is in evolution and Charles Darwin is his patron saint. Folks who are atheists are religious in their own right as well; they basically worship themselves. Even the term "Christian" (which I consider myself) has become incredibly broad, if you own a Bible and all it does is collect dust on the shelf (or if you've ever been in a church) you're considered a "Christian".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

"There is a certain poster on here who always signs “Darwin Bless You All” and I'd consider him religious; his faith is in evolution and Charles Darwin is his patron saint."

I'm not sure what religion, if any, barrypenders practices in non-virtual life, mr. right wing, but around here it's a troll-based religion that has nothing to do with Darwin.

jayhawks71 4 years, 11 months ago

The link is wrong. There is an incorrectly added space before the "?DocID." Below is a corrected link.

http://www.pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=504

Calliope877 4 years, 11 months ago

This is hardly news to those of us born and raised in Kansas. Whoopdi friggin doo...

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

mr_right_wing: “There is a certain poster on here who always signs “Darwin Bless You All” and I'd consider him religious; his faith is in evolution and Charles Darwin is his patron saint.”

reading comprehension is such a bother for some people. do try again mr_right_wing.

Matt Needham 4 years, 11 months ago

Be touched by his noodley appendage, for He is the One. RAmen.

Stuart Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

I have no problem believing that this is one of the most religious states. In fact it's overwhelming and somewhat scary that so many people believe in such things. One can't get through an hour of the day without hearing some religious nut thanking god for a "miracle" that happened to them.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

This just in: Kansas high on the list in belief in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus.

And jewish zombies. Braaainnns!

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

mr right wing: "There is a certain poster on here who always signs “Darwin Bless You All” and I'd consider him religious; his faith is in evolution and Charles Darwin is his patron saint."

Wow, you're really not paying attention, are you? You do know that Barrypenders signs off like that in mockery, don't you? Or are you referring to someone else?

marcdeveraux 4 years, 11 months ago

We all complain about the muslim right wing ,yet christians embrace the same argument , my god is bigger than yours, how childish

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

jacob123 wrote: "Those who are ashamed that Kansans beleive (sic) in a higher power than the state, should perhaps leave and go to a utopian atheist states (sic)."

No need. There are plenty of agnostics, atheists and free thinkers right here in Kansas. That's the great thing about America.

nativedaughter 4 years, 11 months ago

Interesting that Alaska is #45 on the list. I guess S. Palin gave me the impression that Alaska was full of ignorant religious fanatics.

Also, California (where I currently live) is surely only ranked as high as it is due to our large hispanic population.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 11 months ago

So what's uncivil about it, Tom? She is both ignorant and a religious fanatic. Does being civil mean that you have to lie about the actual characteristics of Republicans?

nativedaughter 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Jacob123. I now see how that comment could easily be misconstrued as you interpreted it, which was not my intent. I was merely making a pointless comment on the fact that other demographic factors could help explain the rankings.

grammaddy 4 years, 11 months ago

In Europe, people generally only think of 2 things when you mention Kansas...The Wizard of Oz and Fred Phelps. How scary is that?!?!

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

vanguard3 (Anonymous) says…

"My sense of purpose comes from doing decent things for humanity, because God thought that humanity was important enough to create."

My sense of purpose comes from doing decent things for humanity, because we're all humans, and we're all here, for better or for worse. I hope you don't make the assumption that everybody truly needs an invisible third-party figure to motivate them to spread positive things. I've known a number of people who do it without.

mikerotch61 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh Noes! People believe something differently than me! They're all morons!!!!! MORONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, grow up libs.

anon1958 4 years, 11 months ago

beobachter (Anonymous) says…

vanguard3 (Anonymous) says…

Fred Phelps and his hateful little sycophants are certifiable nuts.

As are most of the true believers, aka as Christians.


The last statement is shallow and empirically untrue. The vast majority of Christians mind their own business and are generally good friends and neighbors.

There are more fanatical Christians than I am comfortable with but most true believers are not certifiably nuts and are in fact mainly occupied with raising a family and making a living.

MarineVet 4 years, 11 months ago

Just ignore Beo, he never misses a chance to spew hatred towards christians. His comments have no impact on my beliefs and never will.

MarineVet 4 years, 11 months ago

Semper Fi Vanguard3 thanks for your service also, I respect a man that will stand up for his faith, it's worth fighting for even in the midst of blabbering fools.

esteshawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe beo is just admitting the truth, and that we all know the bible is not literal. If you believe the bible as inerrant truth,and the world is only 6000 years old, then you are living a lie. The same science that is used to find oil that fuels your life is the same science that tells us the age of the earth. The same science that builds your medications is the same science that provdes evolution. It is hypicritical to believe in science when it befits you, but not when it smacks your worldview down.

Anyway - no aethiest ever killed anyone in the name of God.

Morich 4 years, 11 months ago

I tend to avoid commenting too much here. I don't mind philosophical arguments from time to time. However, as the article's title suggests, this is a religiously charged argument. Arguing with a group of people aligned a religion can be dangerous.

Someone mentioned that many who do not follow a religion tend to follow a real-world addiction. Y'know, they play video games, watch special TV shows, drink, do drugs. Spend hours on facebook, maybe. Hey, a few of 'em even post comment after comment on the local newspaper's site.

Personally, I'd say that following a religion could be considered a form of addiction. At least, it might look as such to anyone not actively engaged in following the religion in question. It might even look that way to a mormon who's watching a catholic.

Finally, esteshawk wrote "no aethiest ever killed anyone in the name of God."

I think this statement is telling, and somewhat worrying. I'm not willing to kill someone because their belief is not what I think it should be. They might feel different about killing me.

But I want to get away from the "I'm right, you're wrong, NO I'M RIGHT!" style that's beginning.

Let's say for a moment that having our state in such wonderful 'spiritual' shape is great. You win that one.

I just want to know what everyone being in such a good light with god is going to do about the following:

brother_cumulus 4 years, 11 months ago

Most religious fanatics realize that religion is a myth. They just can't come out cleanly because they've invested so much of their lives into a big lie that it hurts to face the truth and deny the ancient fairy tales they've been led to believe.

mr_right_wing 4 years, 11 months ago

Kansas is pretty much a 'conservative' state...except for Douglas County (people refer to Lawrence as 'The San Francisco of the mid-west") Likewise, most Kansans may be considered 'religious' with Douglas county once again being a completely different story.....

leedavid 4 years, 11 months ago

I get in enough trouble arguing about politics, I'm not going to get into religious discussions too.

Being from Louisiana I just want to correct Anon1958 real quick. Anon said:

"In Louisiana, when the state rankings are released the cry of “Thank God for Mississippi” resounds throughout the bayous. For you see the state of Mississippi has long protected Louisiana from placing dead last in any important category."

Growing up we were 49th in education. Despite my best efforts to make us 50th in the nation, that spot was taken by Alabama. So we are stuck with being the second dumbest in America. We do throw the best parties though.

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