In a Land of Waning Religion?
Ted Nesi has culled the local data from a national survey concerning American religion:
Rhode Island residents are among the least religious in the country, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington.
Just 44 percent of Rhode Island and Connecticut residents surveyed by Pew said that religion is “very important in their lives.” The two states ranked No. 42 out of 46 in their share of deeply religious people. (The center surveyed 482 people in the two states, which were combined because of their small sample sizes.)
One could layer all sorts of caveats over this sort of data. In a state in which religion isn’t an overt and explicit part of quotidian interactions, for example, it may be that a survey respondent has to be even more devout in order to declare the importance of religion and expressions of certainty in the existence of God.
That said, there’s a reason public statements of religiosity feel like missionary work around here. One could suggest that New Englanders just like to treat their faith as a private matter, but by any standards &151; religious, sociological, psychological — cordoned faith is vulnerable faith, especially as new generations get the impression that nobody really believes anything.