Godless in Vermont

God has been shunted aside in Vermont:

Once again a new Gallup Poll has reported that Vermont is the least religious state in the country, with only 22% of the people willing to call themselves "very religious." On the other side of the poll, there is Mississippi, where a whopping 61% of citizens lay claim to that self-description. But what does it really mean to be "very religious" and not just spiritual?

I don't put much stock in things like this; statistics are useful when they actually prove a point. To poll people and ask them about religion isn't exactly a scientific exploration of population characteristics. I do think that this polling is useful for determining the lifestyle choices found in an area.

Godlessness, or the absence of religion, is growing at an accelerated rate because traditional religions fail people and they are no longer the cohesive glue holding small groups together. What was critical a hundred years ago in a town of 300 people is meaningless now that the same place serves as the bedroom community for a larger city where people work and shop. Consumerism is the religion of America. The growth of a secular lifestyle means that there will be a growing number of abandoned church properties in America. Some entrepreneur should start a company that rehabilitates churches into viable properties.

No wonder then that things like Yoga and meditation are so important for people living the Vermont lifestyle. They have found the thing that centers them and being afraid of Cotton Mather's vengeful, angry God is like still owning dot matrix printer.

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