Thursday, April 20, 2006

Exactly where are the Catholics? Baptists? Muslims?

Last year Gov. Tim Kaine turned the tables on the folks who said a Catholic couldn’t win in Virginia. Instead of playing down his religion, which had been seen as a drawback -- because he isn’t a Protestant -- Kaine used it as a shield to deflect criticism of his political stands to do with abortion and the death penalty.

President George "I'm the Decider" Bush says he’s not fighting a religious war in Iraq, yet he also seems to want people to believe that God told him to invade. Meanwhile, the cries of “death to the infidels” grow louder in Middle Eastern countries, which have populations that are largely Muslim, and who appear to see Bush’s policy as a new Christian "crusade" against Islam.

It’s 2006, yet religion still plays a huge role in politics everywhere. Which leads to this -- maps. Would you like to see where the highest concentrations of Muslims are in the United States? Curious about which states are over 50 percent Baptist, or Catholic?

Valparaiso University has the answers. They’ve got some interesting colorized maps of the USA, created by the Glenmary Research Center, showing the concentrations of all sorts of religious brands.

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