They rank No. 1 in Oregon – one of only four states where “no religion” was the most common answer in a religious identification survey commissioned by City University of New York in 2001. The other states were Washington, Idaho and Wyoming.
Other recent studies draw similar conclusions, including a 2002 survey commissioned by the Glenmary Research Center in Tennessee that identifies several cities in Southern Oregon and Northern California – including Corvallis, Eugene, Medford and Redding – as those where Americans are least likely to have a religious affiliation.
[Full Story][Link Via Relasped Catholic]
Yesterday on EWTN radio I heard Mark Shea mention that Seattle was the least churched city in the least churched state. Being originally from Portland, Or I wanted to argue back that “Hey, Oregon is the least churched” and now I got the facts to back it up. I then realized how stupid is was to want to have bragging rights for the least churched state. While in the Navy I lived in both Whidbey Island, Wa and Pullayup, Wa. I was a recruiter for a bit with our station being in Bellevue. I found that Oregon and Washington were very similar in attitudes. When I went back to Portland earlier this year I would say that it is even more permeated with new age religions then it was before. The majority of signs and bumper stickers reflected a spirituality based around nature worship. I felt totally out of place and like a intruder there. Spiritually and politically the place was like antimatter to me and I felt like at any moment while walking down the street that people would point at me and scream like the aliens did in the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The most common mantra I heard was “I don’t go to any church, but I am spiritual.” Mark also mentioned on the radio yesterday G.K. Chesterton’s quote “When people cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they’ll believe anything.” Growing up in Portland I didn’t know the difference between Catholic, Protestants, etc; but I knew about Hari Krishnas, EST, reincarnation, auras, ESP, Transcendental Meditation, and others. But if you had asked me about the Incarnation or the Trinity I would have replied with a blank stare. I had no idea that Christians believed in the Trinity or what it was suppose to be and I would have thought incarnation was a type of flower.
What factors lead to these states being like this I don’t now. The weather is depressingly similar in both states, which is one reason that when I retired from the military I moved to Florida. The weather is nicer here and I only have to be concerned about killer hurricanes and killer judges.