In Saturday’s New York Times, columnist Charles Blow said the flowing:

A Gallup report issued on Tuesday underscored just how out of line we are. Gallup surveyed people in more than 100 countries in 2009 and found that religiosity was highly correlated to poverty. Richer countries in general are less religious.

But that doesn’t hold true for the United States.

Sixty-five percent of Americans say that religion is an important part of their daily lives. That is compared with just 30 percent of the French, 27 percent of the British and 24 percent of the Japanese.

I used Gallup’s data to chart religiosity against gross domestic product per capita, and to group countries by their size and dominant religions.

The cliché goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

(Obviously, this is true. Check out Blow’s column for a nice chart showing the “thousand word” picture.)

Even in a America, the more religious states are generally the most backward, uneducated, and poor. The situation would be infinitely worse if such states weren’t propped up by the good fortune of sitting on oil or given tax money hand-outs from the more productive — less religious — states, all the while whining about “big government” and “awful liberals”. (You know, those terrible liberals who are actually coming up with innovative, financially viable ideas that are keeping this nation afloat! Think Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York City etc.)

Indeed, word on the street has it that economic growth in Massachusetts has consistently gone up since the pilgrims liberalized and people  stopped burning witches. Oklahoma ought to try to follow in Massachusetts footsteps.

Oh, I kid you Oklahoma! I’ve been there – it’s a fine state with some very nice people who aren’t named Tom Coburn or Sally Kern.