Connecticut: One of the Least Religious States in the Country

Connecticut: One of the Least Religious States in the Country

It should come as no surprise that Connecticut is one of the least religious states in the country.  We are, after all, in the Northeast where education and wealth are relatively concentrated on the east coast.  But you maybe surprised to find out just how irreligious Connecticut actually is.

In a February 2016 analysis by Pew, Connecticut ranked 47th in the country overall in markers of religiosity.  That puts us damn close to the bottom (pun intended). 

And just this past February (2017) Gallup updated their poll on the nonreligious populations of each state and found that the nonreligious make up 41% of Connecticut’s populace.  Up 2% from last year!

Finally, polls from the Barna Group have consistently labeled Hartford and New Haven as some of their least biblically-minded or most post-Christian cities in the country.  Check it out...93 out of 100!  Not bad Hartford and New Haven!

A few additional pieces of information that Connecticut legislators need to keep in mind while holding, or desiring to continue holding, office in one of the least religious states in the country is that the non-religious make up the largest "religious" voting bloc in the country and Americans' belief in the Bible as the litteral word of God is waning rapidly.  In Connecticut it is highly likely that the non-religious voting bloc is much larger and belief in the Bible is much lower.

 

One more question that always seems to bubble up in conversations about these numbers is, “How many actual atheists are there in the US?”  Many religious folks would have you believe the number is very low.  Pollsters generally put the number at a moderate 10% or less.  However, many out atheist would say the number is much higher.  Indeed American Atheists President, David Silverman, has been saying that for years.  In his recent book, “Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World,” Silverman argues that the number of true atheists in the US is much higher and that the reason the polls don’t show this is because of the cultural stigma surrounding the label, "atheist."  People are just too afraid to admit it.  Now finally there may be some hard evidence to support that contention.  In a recently published study researchers asked respondents to acknowledge clusters of personal statements about themselves such as; “I am a vegetarian,” or “I am a dog owner,” or “I believe in God,” without using the stigmatizing label.  They found that the number of atheists in America is probably closer to 26%.

Let that sink in for a minute.  

More than one quarter of the people in the US could be atheists.  In Connecticut that number is probably much higher!  Yet practically ALL of our elected officials still claim to have some personal connection to a god or hedge when pressed on the matter.  It's time for that to change.  Whether by motivating candidates, motivating voters, or motivating current elected officials to come out of the closet...it is time.  We need, deserve, and demand reality- and evidence-based policies and laws not dogma or wishful thinking to lead us into the future. 

If you want to learn more about, or connect with, Connecticut's large and thriving Atheist, Humanist, and Freethinker community, visit ctcor.org.

With all of this in mind you may be asking, "Why is the Secular Coalition for Connecticut here keeping vigilance on the wall that separates state and church in one of the least religious states in the country?"  In the words of Elie Wiesel, "We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." 

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