Friday, August 30, 2013

Aloha Oy! or Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

I just know that each and every one of you has been on pins and needles until you know the religious affiliation of each and every one of the 435 members of the U.S. Congress. I can feel it in my bones. Well, you need not wonder any longer, bloggers, thanks to the people at BuzzFeed! They have produced a fascinating array of information consisting of 15 maps and a list that will provide you with what you’ve been longing for.

Okay, so it isn’t exactly Four Weddings and a Funeral, but it’s something.

The maps answer the burning question, “What Religion Does Your Member of Congress Identify With?”

I have never in my life asked myself the question, “What Religion Does My Member of Congress Identify With?” Have you?

The first map contains 14 colors that represent 14 “religions”:

1. Anglican/Episcopalian
2. Baptist
3. Buddhist
4. Catholic
5. Hindu
6. Jewish
7. Lutheran
8. Methodist
9. Mormon
10. Muslim
11. Other Christian (more on this category below)
12. Presbyterian
13. Unitarian
14. Unspecified/None

Following the kaleidoscopic map are 14 other maps showing each of the 14 categories separately against a grey background.

Oh, joy! Oh, delight! Not.

More like “Yawn.”

If you can’t get enough of semi-interesting trivia, though, after the fifteenth map is a list showing the names of all members of the current (113th) U.S. House of Representatives by religious affiliation religious preference religious political expediency religious delusion religion. The broad category “Other Christian” from the maps is further broken down in the list into:

1. Assemblies of God
2. Christian
3. Christian Reformed
4. Christian Scientist
5. Congregationalist
6. Churches of Christ
7. Church of God
8. Disciples of Christ
9. Eastern Orthodox
10. Evangelical Free Church
11. Fellowship of Evangelical Churches 12. Nazarene
13. Non-denominational Christian
14. Pentecostal
15. Protestant
16. Quaker
17. Seventh-day Adventist
18. United Brethren
19. Unspecified Christian

According to BuzzFeed, “There are 31 religions represented in the House, including 26 different sects of Christianity. Catholics make up the largest group with 136 members, followed by Baptists with 66 members, Methodists with 45 members, Anglicans/Episcopalians with 35 members, Presbyterians with 28 members, and Jews with 22 members. There is only one atheist.”

/sarcasm ON/

It’s good to know that BuzzFeed is looking after our interests, isn’t it?

/sarcasm OFF/

Here are the maps and the list.

You may peruse or ignore the link as you choose. If you are curious about the information, it’s there. If you couldn’t care less, you can pass it by. If you like to look at various colors in odd patterns, be my guest. Are you wondering, though, as I am, why BuzzFeed didn’t bother with the U.S. Senate?

My own feeling is that since there are only 100 Senators in all (two from each state) and only a third of the Senate seats are up for grabs every two years, BuzzFeed couldn’t be bothered. But all 435 representatives are elected every two years, and the people behind BuzzFeed want to inform stir up as much of the populace as possible so that they will vote to throw their particular rascal out based on a reason that should not matter.

The BuzzFeed people should read Article VI, paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution immediately.

This just in, complete with individual photographs: Religious affiliation in the United States Senate.


  1. "I have never in my life asked myself the question, “What Religion Does My Member of Congress Identify With?” Have you?"

    Um no. Of course, even though I don't know and don't care what religious persuasion our political leaders lean towards in Britain, I do know that the latest batch are the work of some evil cult.

    I like your satirical approach. As for religion, I'd rather be flogged in the public square than become religious.

    Have a good weekend, if you so wish.


  2. Yawn about sums it up! Religion doesn't figure on a list of questions I ask people I know, let alone the Big Wigs of the world... or Big Heads - at least, in their own opinions?

  3. I am so very grateful that religion is not a burning issue here. Well not usually anyway...

  4. Gary (klahanie), thanks for commenting. I noticed you are now using your full name. Were you named after my first cousin or the Duke of Edinburgh? Uh-oh, I guess I have let the cat out of the bag that the Duke of Edinburgh is NOT my first cousin. Rather more distant, I think.

    Jinksy (Penny), let's have a Yawnfest, shall we? Big Heads require Big Wigs (yawn), and vice versa (yawn). I'd like to stay and play more but I'm getting sleepy.

  5. For a very few people this is likely important stuff. People who study things. Like the people who came up with the notion that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. So I think this coupled with many other statistics might give a picture of something. For example, maybe how high a percentage a district needs of Baptists to elect a Baptist congressman and if that percentage has changed over time.

  6. David Oliver, your question is an interesting one, given that you come from Alabama, the most Baptist state in the nation, yet a bigger portion of Georgia is represented by Baptists than Alabama.

  7. Elephant's Child, you are my third female Australian commenter, and the more the merrier, I say! We already have Carol in Cairns (in Far North Queensland) and Helsie in Brisbane. And now you. Welcome! Welcome, I say!

  8. I was named after your first cousin, twice removed from your second great uncle, thrice removed from your great, great Aunt Agnes of Aberdeen.

    My middle name was the name of my grandfather on my mother's side of the family. My first name, I have no idea why I'm called that. Anything do with Royalty makes me what to violently puke.

    There you go, good sir.

    Be well and enjoy your weekend.

    Gary Philip Pennick.

  9. I never cared either until recently with the Muslim one. I've studied it a lot and asked people why they convert and they said because in the end there will be only one.
    Democracy cannot function unless there are differences. You dont need democracy if people are forced into believing and doing and saying the same things and not allowed to think or say no.
    It replaces the constitution and government. It is a scary thing to think our children will have a war to defend their rights in a country
    where we don't know how to fight this new thing coming in.
    I see the only way today, is to remove it from the religion list
    and stop the spread unless of course no one cares about democracy and freedom either.

  10. Yes, I have to confirm what Elephant Child said. Religous affiliations of our politicians do not seem to be a big issue here in AUS, although it once was. Having said that, the current PM is often filmed leaving church on a Sunday, and the next Prime Minister (undoubtedly to be elected next weekend) was in the priesthood in his early years before he took to wearing 'budgie smugglers' (there is an Aussie term for you to Google. Maybe he was wearing them under his priestly garb. And our former Prime Minister was an atheist, even refusing to attend the traditional church service on the opening of Parliament each year. So Australia has become a very secular country.

  11. Gary Philip etc., good old great, great Aunt Agnes -- I haven't thought of her in years. How are things in Aberdeen, anyway?
    Agnes was descended from an unholy alliance between a lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots and a fourth grandnephew of Robert the Bruce, you know. Their progeny now sit on thrones galore made of porcelain.

    A Lady's Life, you have just said, er, written a mouthful. I don't know how many here agree with you but you have given us much to think about. Are you in the U.S.? I thought you were in Canada. Is there "a Muslim one" in Canada? I'm presuming you were referring to the U.S. congressman from Minnesota. Who else could it possibly be? I can't imagine.

    Carol in Cairns, regarding budgie smugglers, (a) you can't always judge a book by its cover, and (b) perhaps the males of the Australian species ought to take heed to something parents used to say when daughters wanted to wear revealing clothing: "leave a little to the imagination" ... apparently parents don't say that any more. It occurs to me that I may be sending a mixed message.

  12. We talk to a lot of muslims and they all say the same thing and this was even before 9/11.
    Some of my family members also lived in Egypt so they also say the same thing.
    The koran on the first page states all infidels must die. So from day to day, you don't know what they will do tomorrow.
    What I say is what the muslims themselves tell me.I also read the koran and then there is history.
    Also once you are considered a muslim, you are not allowed to leave the religion.I will not speak about Obama because he is an elected President I didn't like what they did to Bush when he was President so I won't say anything about Obama.People have to be careful who they elect especially when they know nothing about the man.

  13. By "muslim one" I referred to the religion. All the other religions believe in tolerance and peace except this one. This one believes in peace on their terms.This is why they are always fighting between themselves.
    The shiites and sunnis will never get along.
    In Canada we have people wanting Sharia law.
    I am a conservative woman but if a woman wants to walk naked on the street to make a point, I won't stop her.Might be one day I will get mad enough to do it myself. lol
    No one is perfect.
    All we can do is talk and educate and hope people understand what is good and what is bad for society as a whole.In my opinion the 10 Commandments is all we need to refer to to keep us on track. Nothing too complicated.
    In places like Malaysia and Indonesia people still get their hands cut off for theft.In Canada people come from these countries and burn their wives over dowries.
    One family killed their daughter in an honor killing.Then they do the genital mutilation in women.Thanks but no thanks.

  14. I allowed A Lady's Life's last two comments to be published and let her have her say because I am basically a non-confrontational, peaceful person, but I hope this blog will never become a "Religion A is good, Religion B is bad"-type conversation. There are lots of blogs that already do that and the blogosphere does not need another. Rhymeswithplague is meant to be a little oasis of calm -- can I get a witness? -- in a sea of troubles, a place of refuge from the storms of everyday life, a plateau amidst the ups and downs that affect us all, a -- I have run out of phrases. Please rise for the Doxology.

  15. In todays world religion is peace. It's a personal experience between a person and god.
    However the church and the state cannot be separated in the muslim world since there is not supposed to be a difference.
    I only brought it up because of your It's a good question.