Mississippians love catfish, sweet tea and Jesus.
The Pew Research Center has named Mississippi the nation’s most religious state. 82 percent of the state says their faith is very important in their daily lives. Folks go to church, pray and read their Bibles on a regular basis.
“For those of us in church leadership and those of us who are passionate about reaching this country for Christ, it tells us where we need to focus our efforts,” said Jonathan Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA.
And for the sake of full disclosure, I happen to be a native Mississippian. I can personally attest to the church-going habits of my fellow citizens. My Uncle Jerry said God, guns and gravy are even mentioned in the state constitution. I wouldn’t take that to the bank, but that’s what he says.
And while some Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans might find it hard to swallow, Alabama and Arkansas are tied for second on Pew’s survey — just ahead of Louisiana and Tennessee. I suspect church pews in New Orleans are packed the Sunday after Mardi Gras.
As for the nation’s least religious states — well — that would pretty much be New England. Folks who live in New Hampshire and Vermont are on the slippery slope — with Alaska not too far behind.
And for what it’s worth — they don’t serve much catfish or sweet tea up above the Mason-Dixon Line.
The survey factored in worship service attendance, prayer time and how strong Americans believe in God.