The worst educational levels in America stretch across the most religious section of the country. A coincidence?
davesdatahut: Why do southern states continue to have such woefully low education levels? Is it connected to religion?
The most recent census data shows that less than 25 percent of adults age 25 and older have a college degree in a majority of southern states. The ones that beat that measure barely do so, with Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia having rates of 26, 26, 27 and 28 percent, respectively.
In some states, the rates are pathetic - 20 percent in Mississippi and Arkansas, 21 percent in Kentucky and Louisiana, 22 percent in Alabama. Indeed the only states outside the Deep South with rates below 25 percent are Nevada, Indiana and Ohio.
(for comparison purposes, 30 to 35 percent of adults in most northeastern and far-western states have degrees)
Many years ago, you could blame that on a southern agricultural economy that didn't need as many college educated people. But today? Why does this continue? Why has the mindset for higher education not changed in the South?
Does it have a lot to do with the fact that the most uneducated states are also the most religious, being spread across the Bible Belt? Could that be it???
(Edited by davesdatahut)
Laymen's opinion:- Could it be that the religious believe that their path is predetermined? Hence no need for them to labour on and achieve jobs, financial stability and 'status'?
I have always been amazed and sometimes even slightly envious of the notion that you can sit back in difficult times because God will provide. As an Atheist, I don't have that luxury, I have to battle on to make things happen because I don't have a 'God that provides for me'.
I can't control everything that happens to me, but I can control my reaction to it. Do I grow from adversity or fold.
Frankly Dave, I have no idea. Is this tendency confined to rural areas or to the cities as well?
(In South Africa you get a Diploma from a college and a Degree from a university.)
near50ohoh: define education.
ik how many people in the faith world have not only their govt schooling program to excel at, but also their temple studies which their parents want them to do better at.and these kids often know more than one language. which few govt systems force.
then the farmers and small business owners have their kids doing more chores than the elite do.
so what i am suggesting is that perhaps your study needs to ask further questions.
and serabi we have that in canada also. college for certificates and university for degrees.
I have not done any research on the topic. I just gave my response to the question asked. I'm sure Dave did his research before posting the thread.
I have my degree from a university. However, I think that a pure degree does not ensure finding a good job. I'm very much in favour of technical colleges where you are taught a trade which you can use to start your own business with, e.g. electrical, plumbing, etc.
davesdatahut: Serabi, I don't know if it's confined to rural vs urban areas. I suspect there are differences, but I haven't analyzed the data to that level. It probably has do with a number of longstanding factors, including the fact that the south has historically been poorer and less educated....with the people letting religion fill in the gaps because it was just easier to be led by the nose instead of actually do the hard work of getting educated.
I'm theorizing that it persists because those factors persist.
Zanjan: "Does it have a lot to do with the fact that the most uneducated states are also the most religious, being spread across the Bible Belt? Could that be it???"
No, it's because it's too freakin hot to go to school...........if you don t have an air conditioner, you can't think. In spring, there's too many tornados - it's too dangerous to go to school.
Schools are in the cities, not the swamps. Why go to college when you can make good money murdering alligators?
I live in a Bible belt where 64% of the female population have college or university degrees, compared to 56% of men.
There will always be rural people growing the food you eat - they cant afford university because their overhead is too high; they get next to nothing for their produce because the middle man takes it all. But they arent ignorant - these growers are educated in several different trades.
To deem a college or university degree as higher, more worthy education than a trade certificate, is nothing but arrogance.
Religion is an education anyone can have because it's free.
near50ohoh: yes there are different types of education and they are all valid and worthy. i said that. glad you agree zanjan.
religious education is hardly free when you consider all the donations families give during their time in their temple.esp when their children are young. it may be in fact more expensive than public school is as a result. in the christian church it's called tithing. 10% of ur gross income is supposed to go to ur church. at least with govt taxing you get breaks and credits.
davesdatahut: Well, I never thought of that. It's too hot to go to school! Of course!! And besides, laying waste to alligators is a good living, too.
I can't believe I didn't think of that.
(and there was no suggestion that a trade school degree is not worthy. there are lower percentage of two-year degrees in the South as well.)
Zanjan: Near, tithing isn't mandatory in most churches; it is in the Morman church. However, whatever donations are given, these go to church operations and maintenance, emergency relief, charities and so forth - it doesn't go to education, nobody asks money for that.
Anybody can go to religious classes for free, including children, whether or not they or their parents are church members. This type of education is a gift from God to humanity so it's never withheld from anyone for any reason, not even the texts.
"(and there was no suggestion that a trade school degree is not worthy"
Then what is this topic complaining about? Trade school isn't college or university so the topic implies anything less is the worst education. You should have titled it 'lowest paid jobs - who takes these - religious people?"
My answer would be "Probably - they're not materialistic, money isnt their god".
near50ohoh: zanjan, when the church has an education system of its own then of course the tithes cover its costs and of course only members of good standing can send their kids. and my group certainly did say members must tithe and we werent mormons. you may think you know everything but you dont know my group better than me. so tread lightly.
(Edited by near50ohoh)
davesdatahut: Let me clarify the post, to make it quite clear, Zanjan. Yes, I absolutely, positively see the lack of education in the southern states as a major negative and a major reason why that area remains the poorest, most backward part of the country. You can have all the religion you want. But a secular education is what's going to put food on the table, a roof over the head and a chance at a better-paying and/or a personally rewarding job.
A trade school degree is nice for some, and quite valuable in many industries. But, more and more, it won't cut it in today's technologically advancing world.
And, for the record, the southern states also have lower rates of two-year degrees. So the trends cuts to that level as well - as the under-educated continue to get conned into letting organized religion trump secular schooling, much to their detriment. .
But, hey, as you suggest, maybe it's just too hot to go to school in Alabama!
(Edited by davesdatahut)
davesdatahut: Tropical, well said...religious teaching cannot provide the type education people need in today's world. It can provide - or at least it should provide - some kind of moral compass for its followers. But it cannot give them anywhere close to all the skills and tools they need.
Zanjan: Near, name your denomination. The word "church" is associated with congregations of the Christian Faith, using the New Testament scripture - Scientology aint it. When I said "most churches", I wasn't referring to obscure cults.
Tithing is a pledge an individual commits to voluntarily, not a bill a church sends. A pledge is a personal vow - there's danger in making vows as one might be prevented from keeping their word and end up with egg on their face. Best not to promise that which one has no guarantee of producing. Most of us find that out the hard way.
If you're referring to the clergy, that's a scholar who's paid to speak.....not study classes. Laypeople teach the Faith - which church pays them a salary?
Zanjan: Tropical: "Religious teaching can only provide a limited education".
The same is true for general academics. That's half an education; 50% power isn't enough to even attempt to fly on one wing.
Dave, where did I say a secular education wasn't necessary?
I mean, it's absolutely obvious no one can be *legitimately* self-supporting without acquiring training in an occupation or profession.
Anybody can get a job. Yet without spiritual education as well, how can one make wise investments, run an ethical, sustainable operation, function responsibly, garner trust and foster healthy relationships? How long do you suppose a person without that would keep a job?
This world is a tough place, one needs all their wits to survive. Half-wits are dependent on others for their sustenance; they live in a very small world.
Without a well-rounded basic education, how could anyone compete at the same level as those who have that? It's impossible for an individual who is deprived of the above to be a successful human being. Where are the stats for that?
Zanjan: Try starting with the first step towards reality - begin by making a list of particulars you think makes a person successful in life; compare with other people's lists.
Now find the names of those whom you think fit that description and follow their lives from their teen years to their deaths. You can answer this yourself.
This reminds me of a news article about a Canadian married couple. They were approaching the official age of retirement at 65. They had everything most people want - university degrees, a beautiful home on a lovely estate, nice vehicles, a summer cottage, lots of friends, a large family, national notoriety, financial security. They had traveled the world first class and were both in excellent physical health.
Well, in spite of having such a prosperous life, they committed suicide together. They left a note saying it's precisely because they had all of that, they didn't want to face the downhill slide of old age, obscurity and stumbling. They chose to go out while on top of their game.
This is an epic fail.
near50ohoh: the denomination of my youth,Yes Christian, was Mennonite. not an obscure cult either zanjan. it's been around since the reformation. just in case you dont know when that was, it was in the 1500's. when Martin Luther put his statement on the church door. well in Holland a man named Menno Simon heard of Luther and some of the swiss anabaptists (ie Felix Mans and Conrad Grebel) and decided to revise his life and teach the new christianity. like Luther he was a catholic priest.not only in the reformation, but also in Russia, the mennonites were persecuted for their beliefs. and many came to Canada through the USA but due to conscription issues, as pacifists, they objected to war, they left there and came to Canada. we've been here since before Canada was a country. my family lines among the first and still breeding strong. so thats (in case ur counting) 500 yrs. 300 of which have been in canada.
church members must tithe and we had our own school system and some groups of Mennonites still do. some groups rarely send their kids beyond grade 8 because they are needed on the farm. still. Amish and Mennonite used to be together but had theological disagreements.you may have seen them on tv as a reality show. Harrison Ford was in a movie about them as were a few other hollywood heavy weights.but his movie was actually shown at our church. its called "witness".
as for pastors, i have 3 uncles who were the kind of pastor you speak of. where the word of God moved them and they started as lay pastors. i'm not sure how many were actually ever ordained. a couple of deacons also. in my family line we had bishops on both sides back in the day. thats as high as the mennonites go. some groups now allow educated vs faith based pastors but not many.
there zanjan, is that lacking obscurity and faithbound enough for you?
and i remind you i said of my youth. but that doesnt mean ive left it all behind or forgotten all i was taught.
it also means i understand about alternate systems of education and their validity. their need in some traditions. the boys were farmers and the girls went into things like nursing so they could bring in funds for their families. or taught in the church schools. until they started having their broods at least. they apprenticed often to their own family members to learn their skills. some of the men also went into the building trades and again apprenticed.
to say that schooling only comes out of govt programs would be denying my heritage. but i went to univ. so i see both sides of this issue, maybe uniquely. or rarely.
as for tithing, like i said to be a member of good standing with the church you must tithe to sponsor the alternative systems of the church. so mennonites can remain out of the world.
davesdatahut: I have largely recovered from my religious upbringing, having tossed aside all its attendant hypocrisy, fairy tales, voodoo, repression, bigotry and guilt trips. It has helped me lead a rather enjoyable life. Nothing is perfect, ever....but I'm doin alright, free from religion.
But my personal story doesn't matter here. The point is that the religion-heavy section of the US continues to lag well behind the rest of the country in education, and I suspect the two trends are inversely connected. It's not that you can't have good education and good religion. But in that part of the country, religion is king....and education is not. And they are not better off for it.