Englightening

Englightening

This is a graph of the ‘majority’ faith of each county in the US as of 2000.  According to the chart, a ‘majority’ religion can claim more than 50% of the county’s population.  I didn’t realize how Catholic most of the country is.  I’m also surprised there aren’t more gray counties where it’s split between 3 or nobody has a ‘majority’.

I happen to know the Oregon numbers seem strange.  The local paper listed Catholics as only 35% of the general population (statewide).  Yet it is still the largest denominational church attended in Oregon by a wide margin.  Why?  Because more than 50% of the population don’t profess to belong to any denominational faith.  Hence  I was expect more grey squares.

I think a lot of folks (especially the average person in the pew) do not realize how powerful and how much they can influence things in our country.  With voter turnout averaging less than 50% in a good number of elections, 50% of the country isn’t being represented.  So in essence, each person that is voting is getting 2 votes (one for the guy that didn’t vote).  Seen in that light, it’s no wonder our president and our congress have such amazingly low approval ratings (you did know congress has a lower approval rating than Bush right?)

Are we in a spiral?  We’re dissatisfied with our public leaders so we don’t think our vote will matter – so we vote less.  This makes our public leaders elected by fewer, more active/vocal voters who likely do not represent us or our values well. Wash, rinse, repeat?

Yet the cure is very simple – get out there and vote.  Participate in the process, and it will start reflecting you.

One thought on “Englightening

  1. Check the map legend again — the color only indicates the most common religion, as defined by the one having the most members in the county. A black dot in the county means that religion has a majority, >=50% of the county population.

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