Dynamist Blog

The Religious Rainbow

Having lived all over the country, I'm acutely aware of regional differences--not all of which are political (or linguistic). Here's a map of the one I've always found the most striking: What background assumptions inform cultural discussions of religion? This isn't just a question of doctrine, much less voting behavior. It also reflects how people think about church authority and organization.

The folks in the counties colored blue here tend to assume the church is a worldwide hierarchy with bureaucracy, tradition, and deep pockets. Those in the red counties assume complete congregational autonomy, the right of members to hire or fire a preacher by a simple congregational vote, and a wildly free market for money and members. They may vote the same way in presidential elections, but their experiences of governance in their religious lives could not be more different. (The green, yellow, orange, and tan counties fall somewhere in between.)


(Via Marginal Revolution.)

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