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Old 05-17-2012, 04:52 PM   #21
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I only asked about the map. It is possible some of the questions raised here are in the full report (148 pages) here

jennypenny, thanks.
The full report says,
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The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey completed telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 35,556 adults living in continental United States telephone households.
(emphasis mine) So, they deliberately left out Alaska and Hawaii. I'm sure this was the intent, as it often is when various organizations or news reports omit Alaska and Hawaii.

I don't think they should claim to have any kind of handle on religions or religious diversity within the U.S. as a whole, if they conducted their survey on only a subset of the United States. If I were editing that report, I'd require them to go back and qualify that in the report, substituting "continental United States (omitting Alaska and Hawaii)" every single place in the report where they now say "United States". Also towards the end I would require them to mention that future endeavors in such work should be done for the entire United States.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
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I suspect that, as often happens, they are forgotten. So annoying.
Rand McNally once published an atlas of the USA and left out North Dakota and Wyoming.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:19 PM   #23
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Rand McNally once published an atlas of the USA and left out North Dakota and Wyoming.
Incredible!
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:31 PM   #24
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Knowing those kind of stats is helpful to explain the "you're not from around here are you" reactions. Which I get a lot..

Wonder if they count the people who hang up on them before they get the question out as unaffiliated? Now those are my kind of folks.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:41 PM   #25
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The full report says, (emphasis mine) So, they deliberately left out Alaska and Hawaii. I'm sure this was the intent, as it often is when various organizations or news reports omit Alaska and Hawaii.

I don't think they should claim to have any kind of handle on religions or religious diversity within the U.S. as a whole, if they conducted their survey on only a subset of the United States. If I were editing that report, I'd require them to go back and qualify that in the report, substituting "continental United States (omitting Alaska and Hawaii)" every single place in the report where they now say "United States". Also towards the end I would require them to mention that future endeavors in such work should be done for the entire United States.
Thanks for that. Why do a survey of 48 states? I see no distinctions on the website. Have they put form above function here? For example
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See the percentage of each state's population that is affiliated with various religions in the U.S., and explore the religious beliefs and practices of each state's population.
Curious.
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:44 PM   #26
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I think this information can be very important in deciding where you might be able to stand living, for those people who get out charts of prices and taxes and such to decide where to retire. Also, it helps to have a little on the ground experience as many states are different from region to region (compare New Orleans to Shreveport or Monroe). Some Southern and border states are strongly protestant but some of the cities in these same states may have majority of Catholics among the white population.

I can easily tell where I could live (not will mind you, that decision is long made). I go somewhere, eat a few meals, meet some people, go to a Walmart. If I don't get a stomache ache or heart palpitations, I likely could live there. Also, an automatic rejection is made if any of the women are known to be snake handlers. Another cancel comes if I get turned around on a country lane and someone shows up pointing a gun at me.

I remember being so impressed staying in some little Southern town with one Indian family, usually running the motel, or, if they have been around a while, runing a big franchised lodging operation out on the interstate. Talk about adaptable!

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #27
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If you have an hour to kill, try calling a prestigious researcher and question their research methods.

She said it was a long-standing practice that Hawaii and Alaska were excluded from studies. Most of the reasons were just of the practical sort (especially Hawaii). Pew's calling center is in Virginia and only open during certain hours. It wasn't always possible to call Hawaii at respectable times. Times and research methods have changed, however. W2R you'll be happy to know that as of 6 months ago Pew's policy changed and they now include Hawaii and Alaska on national surveys.

When she looked up the survey (found here: Religion in American Culture -- Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life) she was a little embarassed that they featured such an old survey so prominently. She said in her world a survey from 2007 isn't worth much.

HTH, jenny
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:29 PM   #28
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Thanks, Jennypenny!! I'm glad it only took them 52 years after statehood to update their methods....

Perhaps finding the budget to cover the costs of calling Hawaii and Alaska in the days before cell phones may have played a part in their reluctance to change.

I think she SHOULD be embarrassed, not that a 2007 study drew some attention but that it was so poorly edited (see the above for my comments on their editing).
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:37 PM   #29
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Wow, thanks for the link. I did not realize that I live in the "Unaffiliated" capital of the USA. Must be the weather.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #30
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There is an accepted statistical method of weighting the data in such a way that it gives you a picture of the whole US even if several states aren't represented in the sample. (There are critics of this method but it's used widely by polling firms and researchers.) There are other factors considered more important than location in opinion polling (e.g. race, gender, age, education level, income level). She works for another part of Pew that researches a different area, but the rules are generally the same.

@ejman--Do you live in one of the youngest states demographically? Those two things are often correlated.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #31
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There is an accepted statistical method of weighting the data in such a way that it gives you a picture of the whole US even if several states aren't represented in the sample. (There are critics of this method but it's used widely by polling firms and researchers.)
Yep. I am certainly one of the skeptics of the mis-application of this type of accepted statistical technique in this particular case.

But hey, they can do what they want. It doesn't have MY name on it, thank goodness. Right or wrong I'd be terribly embarrassed if it did, and even moreso if my editors just dropped the ball like that.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:34 PM   #32
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@ejman--Do you live in one of the youngest states demographically? Those two things are often correlated.
Dunno, I live in Oregon and I just noticed as I clicked on different states that it seems to have the highest "unaffiliated" percentage which kind of surprised me since I live in rural SW Oregon and I just assumed most folks around here are fairly religious.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:31 PM   #33
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Thanks for that. Why do a survey of 48 states?
Maybe the other 2 are too weird. Outliers.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #34
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Another cancel comes if I get turned around on a country lane and someone shows up pointing a gun at me.
DEFINITELY a negative indicator, Ha!
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:34 PM   #35
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I remember being so impressed staying in some little Southern town with one Indian family, usually running the motel, or, if they have been around a while, runing a big franchised lodging operation out on the interstate. Talk about adaptable!
You have met the Patels, I see.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #36
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Dunno, I live in Oregon and I just noticed as I clicked on different states that it seems to have the highest "unaffiliated" percentage which kind of surprised me since I live in rural SW Oregon and I just assumed most folks around here are fairly religious.
Yeah. All those Rajneeshies skew the data.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #37
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Yeah. All those Rajneeshies skew the data.
Thanks for the heads up. I had to look them "Rajneeshies" up in wikepedia land and I see folks in Eastern Oregon took care of 'em. I haven't seen any of them around these here parts but I've got plenty of artillery at my place in case they do show up
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Old 05-18-2012, 05:39 AM   #38
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Jennypenny, Thanks for that inside view. Not sure why they consider that old, I didn't think religious views changed that much over time.

Mr. Ha, I am surprised you give up so easily. A gun - well, that could be a turnoff. A stomach ache, definitely. But women and snakes? Now that sounds like an interesting place to live, and you are not likely to get bored.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:03 AM   #39
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Wow! That's my first reaction to the posts regarding my thread. When I looked at the graphic and tooled around the states I just noticed how all the states in the northeast were mostly Catholic oriented. As you move further west that Catholic dominance drops off and I wondered why that was.

I never expected a pack of vultures picking apart the date of the poll or how many people were included and the fact it didn't include Alaska and Hawaii. I would recommend anyone taking a poll in the future contact the Early Retirement.org website to see if it is being conducted in the proper manner.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:25 AM   #40
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Dunno, I live in Oregon and I just noticed as I clicked on different states that it seems to have the highest "unaffiliated" percentage which kind of surprised me since I live in rural SW Oregon and I just assumed most folks around here are fairly religious.
Actually that didn't surprise me at all if you are sampling our urban areas, I was surprised that the % was lower than Washington's. In rural communities churches are social centers, strength there makes sense. Most of Oregon's residents have their roots in main-line Protestant denominations: Methodist, Lutheran and Episcopalian. The latter were state supported churches in Europe where membership was perfunctory. My husband describes Oregon's largest denomination as BlueSky, when the sky is blue we worship that which God has provided.

Oregon has had a number of religious communes over the years including groups of the 'Shaker' variety. The Rajneesh leadership was very aggressive, even if their leaders hadn't been arrested the group would have imploded as others have in the past. Their former community is now a youth camp.
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