Archives For Gallup

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

Chico Goddess Temple entrance.

Chico Goddess Temple entrance.

  • Is the Chico Goddess Temple doomed? According to the Chico News and Review, noise complaints for an illegal festival held four years ago has led to a much larger struggle to survive and gain the permits needed to stay open. Owner Robert Seals thinks that hostility to Goddess religion might underlay the resistance he’s encountered in obtaining the permits he needs. Quote: “This is nothing new, worship of the Goddess, but it goes up against a lot of fundamental religions.” You can learn more about this struggle, and the upcoming appeal hearing, here.

That’s it for now! Happy Friday the 13th! Feel free to discuss any of these links in the comments, some of these I may expand into longer posts as needed.

Yesterday the Gallup polling organization released a new set of analyses from 170,000 interviews over the last six months regarding religion in America. The focus was on religious identity in different states, showing where different religions were the most (and least) concentrated.

“The accompanying maps give a portrait of this remarkable pattern of religious dispersion in the U.S. for these religious groups, based on a new analysis of more than 170,000 Gallup interviews conducted between January and June of this year. A good deal of the religious dispersion across the states is explainable by historical immigration patterns — particularly the impact of the large waves of European Catholics and Jews who came through ports of entry in the Middle Atlantic states in the 19th and early 20th centuries.”

Their results are much what you’d expect, the Pacific Northwest has a lot of “nones”, Utah and surrounding states have a lot of Mormons, Protestantism dominates in the South, there are lots of Jewish people in New York and Florida, and Catholicism remains vital in New England. All fine and good, but when I looked at the breakdown of their numbers I noticed something odd.

Why were “other” non-Christians not included? No Muslims, no Buddhists, no Pagans. Nothing. They must have that data, so why not release it with the rest? It can’t be simple numerical preferences since the recent ARIS data puts “NRMs and Other Religions” on par with religiously observant Jews and just behind the Mormons, two groups that were included in the released data. Is it down to political influence? I’ve sent a request to Gallup to release the “others” data, but haven’t received a response yet. With such a large sample size we could get some interesting results as to where the “others” live, data that could be useful to Pagan organizations and advocacy groups as we continue to grow. Hopefully the rest of their data is forthcoming, but it couldn’t hurt to politely and respectfully request that Gallup release their state-by-state data on “Other non-Christian Religions”.

ADDENDUM: Folks in the comments are starting to get the following canned reply from Gallup on the matter of the “others”.

“As noted in our article, “Religious Identity: States Differ Widely,” the table “does not include Muslims or other non-Christian religions due to small sample sizes. Table also does not show “No opinion” responses.” Added together, all the “No opinion” responses and “other non-Christian” responses were about 5% of the total responses. Individually, each of the many religions included in the “other non-Christian” category received less than 1% of the responses – many were substantially less than 1%. The numbers were, in fact, so small that differences between states were not statistically significant, and could be misleading. That’s not to say there aren’t significant numbers of people associated with each of these religions, but they are relatively small percentages of the total population. Because the margin of error depends on sample size, a much larger (and more expensive) survey would be required to get reliable figures for the smaller groups.”

If there is a standard reply, we must not be the only ones wondering about Gallup’s omissions.