Why Evolution Is True
Why Evolution is True is a blog written by Jerry Coyne, centered on evolution and biology but also dealing with diverse topics like politics, culture, and cats.
As an outsider I’m curious as to the reasons for the apparent low religiosity of Colorado and Wyoming. Has there been an influx from the coasts? Were that the case I should have thought there would have been a similar effect in Montana.
Until recently (with the decline in organized religion in the Northeast), the West has always been the least religious region of the nation. This is particularly true in coastal Oregon, Washington, and California, but is also true in the Rocky Mountain states such as Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming. When settlers from the East moved west, they often lost their families’ traditional religious connections and, while remaining Christian, ceased to be actively involved in local congregations. It is also true that some of these states (such as Nevada and Colorado) have received an influx of migrants from the West Coast and the North, but that is not the primary driver. The interior West, while conservative in many ways, has long had an adventurous liberal or libertarian attitude of ‘live and let live’. This culture has meant that residents do not have to join a church to achieve social and economic acceptance.