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Monday, May 21, 2007

posted by on May 21 at 14:20 PM

I’ve been having fun lately perusing random blogs. Not the political blogs, but goofy personal blogs that people—hockey coaches, young parents, dads, stressed teens, librarians, foodies, PHd candidates, Renaissance Fair types, soldiers in Iraq —write for their friends and their moms (or not their moms in some cases).

It’s kind of like getting a chance to finally meet all those people you move through airports with. You do actually get a bead on Americans and their lives. Hard to find a common denominator, but I do get a sense that people are calmer and more lighthearted than our frantic media culture implies.

One thing that really strikes me, though, is all the “God, Willing” and “God Bless” and “God’s Path” that pops up in blogs that are otherwise focused on the swim meet, gardening, or somebody’s vanity CD project.

I’m not surprised that America is religious. But the extent to which people wear it on their sleeves is a little annoying. More surprising, though, is the language people use. There’s an empty mantra tone to it. It seems unconsciously cut and pasted in as filler, transitional language.

Mostly, it reminds me of Bin Laden.

RSS icon Comments


Yeah, it's weird if you've ever done phone-canvassing how many people say "God Bless" or something similar in their outgoing messages. Even the Mayor does this in his yearly speeches ("God Bless our home, Seattle" or something like that.)

People are just raised that way.

Posted by weird | May 21, 2007 2:28 PM

"get a beat on Americans and their lives"?

Posted by ouch stop hitting me. | May 21, 2007 2:48 PM

If you want unconsciously cut and pasted filler, read my transit blog man!

Posted by Angry Andrew | May 21, 2007 2:58 PM

I couldn't find the numbers, but here are a couple of graphics. Washington is one of the three (if not #1) least religous states in the country. Therefor it is surprising people around here find it incredulous that people believe in God (for me the jury is still out).

Posted by elswinger | May 21, 2007 3:09 PM

Those maps aren't very effective at portraying religiosity. What does religion mean in those stats? Since geographic regions in each state can be very different (a heavy catholic county can be right next to a heavy protastant county) how accurate is it to portray religion by state?
Seattle tends to be very unorganized religiously, but that doesn't mean people don't have personal beliefs. And what about Spokane. Pretty sure on the rural side of the state religion plays a bigger role.

Posted by Enigma | May 21, 2007 4:26 PM

I saw actual numbers awhile ago but I couldn't find them on Yahoo or Google. My memory was Washington was last in "being religious" and believing in God.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Posted by elswinger | May 21, 2007 4:50 PM

There's a big diff between "ceremonial deism," such as the mentioned phrases that have worked their way into everyday language over the centuries, and people who actually believe that a supernatural authority figure gives a damn about whether their mail gets delivered on time or their team wins a football game.

Washington State does have some of the highest rates of atheism and lowest rates of church attendance in the US. It probably has something to do with our high education levels compared to the rest of the country.

Posted by Original Andrew | May 21, 2007 5:07 PM
Posted by carlos | May 21, 2007 5:46 PM

Wow, those maps make me so very glad I live in Seattle. And I thought I was in Jesus Land working on the eastside.

Posted by jamier | May 21, 2007 6:14 PM

Yes. Just what exactly is the point of wearing one's religion on one's sleeve? Kinda reminds me of those ridiculous gay pride parades.

Posted by Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:07 AM

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