Religion and crime

This is a heat map: the redder the tones, the more feverish the problem In this case, it’s religiosity by U.S. state vs. various types of crime. Religion looks like a bad influence. The diagram is from here. A good place to find secular resources, including pro-bono lawyers for the secular side in U.S. church vs. state cases, is Secular Nation.

2 Responses to “Religion and crime”

  1. Eamon Knight Says:

    I recently had the opportunity to ask Greg Paul if anyone had done the same sort of data-gathering that he did among countries, for the various US states, so I’m fascinated to see this now. As with the pattern he observed internationally, the highly religious states seem worse off by almost every metric. The only column that doesn’t show a clear trend (ie. obvious to my eyes) is Generosity.

    • monado Says:

      I’m wondering which way the correlation goes, though. Poverty and desperation in general seem to encourage religion, perhaps by making life more tolerable. Poverty and desperation probably also increase crime rates. The U.S. is the most honest country in the world, by the “lost wallet” test; but it’s also the richest and thus perhaps the least desperate.

      Arizona is such an outlier for property crimes that I’m wondering if it represents some other phenomenon, e.g. corrupt sheriffs and railroading of outgroups. We had one bicycle-stealing ring in Toronto that was sufficient to swing the crime statistics for bike theft over all other cities–thousands per year.

      Unfortunately I haven’t yet found the article that goes with this chart.


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