Map of Pride

Map of Pride Fair Use

I’m afraid that’s the conclusion that must be drawn from the Kansas State U. geographers’ maps of the Seven Deadly Sins that have been spinning around the Internet over the past few days.

Take a close look at the Map o’ Pride, which represents the summation of all the other deadlies (lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, envy, and wrath). By affiliation, the most religious sections of the country are the Southern Bible Belt and what Utah State’s Philip Barlow calls the Bible Suspender stretching up from Kansas to the Dakotas. They are on opposite ends of the Sin Spectrum.

Meanwhile, the least religiously affiliated regions are the Pacfiic Northwest and Northern New England — and they, likewise, are sin-wise out of sync.

We might get a little further by looking at specific religious, or ethno-religious strongholds. As in: Southern Baptists = Sin. Midwestern German and Scandinavian Catholics and Lutheranss = Virtue. MIddle Atlantic and California Catholics = Sin. Inhabitants of the Utah/Idaho Mormon corridor = Virtue.

But how is it possible for Louisiana’s Cajun Country to be no more sinful than evangelical Northern Louisiana? And how come all of Nevada is just average?

Categories: Culture

Mark Silk

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

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