More Minnesotans believe in God than climate change

Is this just God's teardrop?

Is this just God's teardrop?

Minnesotans are religious. We're Americans, after all.

But when it comes to God, we're actually far down the list. Uh, not His list: A new poll from the Pew Research Center ranks Minnesota in the bottom half of American states in self-proclaimed faith. 

That study found that 56 percent of us "believe in God with absolute certainty," while 47 percent said they pray on a daily basis. On church, cathedral, temple, or mosque attendance, about 34 percent of Minnesotans say they attend religious services on a weekly basis.

Do the numbers here, and 22 percent of us are positive God exists but figure he's cool with us observing from afar; 9 percent of us know God's there but have stopped calling him. Minnesota is banking on a deity that is more forgiving than vengeful.

Minnesota's numbers add up for a 35th overall ranking in Pew's assessment of "highly religious states." Our 56 percent belief in God stands 39th, and the 47 percent daily prayer rate comes in 43rd.

The South has a stranglehold on the top of the leaderboard in that question, as it does with most of the Pew study. Alabama and Mississippi tied for first, with 82 percent believers, and it's not until No. 11 Oklahoma (71 percent belief) that the rankings get outside the Mason-Dixon line. 

Always remember, God is watching you take anonymous surveys.

Always remember, God is watching you take anonymous surveys.

The Americans least likely to believe are similarly crowded together up in the Northeast. Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of God-fearing people, at 40 percent, followed by Vermont (41 percent), New Hampshire (43 percent), Maine (48 percent), and Connecticut, which ties with California, both having populations with 54 percent of residents goddamn sure that some higher power is keeping an eye on them.

So, Minnesotans are found to be sort of skeptical (good!) but not incapable of believing something for which there is no tangible evidence (okay!). The reverse is true, though, when it comes to a topic that might speed up the process by which you and your friends — or your grandkids — meet their maker.

Earlier this week, Mother Jones dug out the shameful fact that a majority of respondents in 10 of the 14 states voting in this week's Super Tuesday primaries do not believe climate change is "mainly caused  by humans." Those results, from a 2014 study by Yale, capture a bunch of the southern states that voted this week. But we're there, too: Just 48 percent of Minnesotans believe in manmade climate change, tying us with Georgia and putting us one point below Texas.

As MoJo points out, the scientists long ago put down their pencils, and 95 percent of them think we're to blame for most global warming observed since the 1950s. By percentage, they are twice as confident on that question as are Minnesotans. And Minnesotans, in turn, are 8 percent more likely to believe in God than to believe the scientists.

Some day our reckoning with all of these facts will come. Until then, the least you could do is say a little prayer for science.