I have been asked numerous times if Oregon, in particular Salem, is a place that atheists can live without being judged. Salem is considered to be more moderate to our more liberal leaning neighbors of Portland and Eugene. One of the nice things about Oregon is that is has a “to each his own” kind of attitude about many things, religion is one of them. You typically won’t see people preaching on the street about your eminent demise if you don’t believe in God. People go on about their daily business with the ability to be whom they are.
Where does my rambling lead? The Gallup Poll just released their data on “How Religious is your state?”
For anyone that has lived in Oregon for any length of time, you will know that Oregonians, while often spiritual, don’t often classify themselves as highly religious.
The most religious states were in the Bible belt, and it keeps its well deserved name. Oregon was 45th out of 50 states. The least religious states were:
- Vermont at 17%
- New Hampshire at 23%
- Maine at 24%
- Massachusetts at 27%
- Rhode Island at 29%
- Oregon at 29%
Don’t worry if you are a regular church attendee. There are ample places to practice your religion in Salem for varying religion from Catholic, Lutheran, non-denominational Christian, Latter Day Saints, to Jewish, Islam, Sikh, et al. Just know that Oregon is home to a lot of different people with a lot of different ways of thinking and all are welcome.
For those of you interested, they have an interactive map on their site.