I love thinking about maps, and I love thinking about religions. So it totally blows my mind to see mapping of aspects of American religiosity done by credible polling institutions.
Looking at religion from this 30,000 foot level, we need to ask: is religiosity in America on the declinine as in other indstrialized nations? Or is it thriving, as an upcoming book by Gallup pollster Frank Newport will be arguing? From the blurb:
Popular books such as The God Delusion have dismissed religion as a delusional artifact of evolution and ancient superstitions. But should millions of Americans’ statements of belief and their behavior be dismissed that quickly? The pattern of religious influence in American society suggests mass consequence rather than mass delusion. In God Is Alive and Well, Frank Newport, Gallup’s Editor-in-Chief, provides a new evidence-based analysis of Americans’ religious beliefs and practices — and bold predictions about religion’s future in the U.S.
How could both trends be true?
It’s interesting to note that Harvard University has a Humanist chaplaincy program. What this provides secular or atheist students is a community and all of the other stuff that comes with religion, sans belief. Is Harvard leading a new trend that other universities will follow? Could we see institutions like hospitals adopting this trend? Will Christians or Hindus be okay with being approached by a Muslim Chaplain at a hospital? What about a Humanist one?