You’re going to have to indulge me for a bit today, but I’m going to be doing one of my “off on a tangent” posts. It comes about as the result of a typical bit of Yankee right-wing drivel, courtesy of Terry Hurlbut. You see, despite the fact that the US of A is being ruled by a secret Muslim atheist, who’s determined to turn the country in a caliphate, if he doesn’t bankrupt it and send everybody to as FEMA death camp first, they have this notion that the United States is some kind of utopia that the rest of the world yearns to be.
To quote Hurlbut:
Of course it’s because you’re jealous. You’re jealous of our standard of living, our industrial capacity, everything.
Enjoy what you call a standard of living now, before the entire socialistic scheme collapses of its own weight, as it must.
This comment was directed at somebody who lives in Germany and who pointed out that Germany’s industrial capacity actually exceeds the US’s. It’s a typical neener-neener-neener reply from Hurlbut, when he’s been handed his ass.
Now I’m sure the US does have a pretty good standard of living; it’s certainly higher than my own country’s, but is it ideal? Not if you’re a newborn baby.
You see, the US ranks 48th in the world when it comes to infant mortality. To put it into perspective, they’re alongside such places as Croatia, Belarus, Serbia, Poland. What’s even more telling are the countries ahead of the US: New Caledonia, Hungary, Cuba, Canada, Greece, Portugal, South Korea, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Japan.
Now I’m not saying that infant mortality is the be all and end all, but it does give one pause for thought when a country can’t adequately look after its youngest and most helpless citizens.
Still, I thought what would America be like under the typical ideal fundie state – i.e. religious and Republican? The best place to start would be with the most religious states in the country. The kind of places where they’re legislating that creationism be taught in schools and that holding hands leads to sex. According to the Huff Post, these are:
- Mississippi (59% religious) (I still smile happily when I spell that right first time)
- Utah (57%)
- Alabama (56%)
- Louisiana (54%)
- Arkansas (54%) (How the hell is that pronounced “Arkensaw?“)
- South Carolina (54%)
- Tennessee (52%)
- North Carolina (50%)
- Georgia (48%)
- Oklahoma (48%)
Yup, these look a right bunch. You’ve got Alabama and Oklahoma and their “personhood laws;” Mississippi’s abortion clinic laws; Tennessee’s “Don’t say gay” insanity, not to mention their “monkey bill” which has been passed. So, suffice to say, we’re dealing with what amounts to Fundie Central here.
A quick glance at the 2008 election tells me that all of the above, with the exception of North Carolina (which Obama won by 0.3%) are Republican states. So, it’s safe to say we have our fundie utopia to analyse.
I’ll start off with a soft target (if you’ll excuse the pun) see as atheists are supposed to be the obese ones, let’s have a look at the most over-weight states in the US (2012 figures not available yet – these are as at July 2011) :
- Mississippi (34.4%)
- Alabama (32.3%)
- West Virginia (32.2%)
- Tennessee: (31.9%)
- Louisiana: (31.6%)
- Kentucky: (31.5%)
- Oklahoma: (31.4%)
- South Carolina: (30.9%)
- Arkansas: (30.6%)
- Michigan (30.5%)
Hmm… 7/10. Not a bad hit rate. Especially when you consider that West Virginia and Kentucky are both red states.
Well then, what about money? If God’s on your side, then surely He must be looking after you. Hell, isn’t that what all those preachers are saying? If you give them your money, then God will give you some of His money? By that logic, I’m guessing that it’ll be all the filthy liberal states that’ll be the poorest, right?
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
I guess I was wrong. The usual suspects all show up again.Ok then, let’s look at the worst median income per state:
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
Damn! Mississippi sounds like a wonderful place to live – full of poor, fat people who pray all the time. Still, being the God-fearin’ folk they are, I’m sure they’re not engaging in any of that nasty premarital sex stuff. Especially now that abstinence education is the way to go, and they’re banning abortion – even for rape and incest. I mean, come on, incest? We’re talking places like Mississippi and Tennessee here, for cryin’ out loud !
Oh dear. Not only do the states with abstinence education plans have the highest rate of teenage pregnancies… but guess who heads the list. Mississippi. Let’s have a look at the top 10, with births per 1,000 teen girls:
- Mississippi 55
- New Mexico 52.9
- Arkansas 52.5
- Texas 52.2
- Oklahoma 50.4
- Louisiana 47.7
- Kentucky 46.2
- West Virginia 44.8
- Alabama 43.6
- Tennessee 43.2
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to see some sort of trend forming here. Well, I’ve looked at illicit births (so to speak), let’s have a look at deaths. Where in the US are you most likely to meet a violent end (excluding places like Texas, where Rick Perry will have you in Old Sparky for littering):
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Seriously, these are the places run by right-wing fundamentalists and yet they appear to failing on just about every scale imaginable. And I’m supposed to be jealous of that?
Maybe if their elected officials spent less time worrying about creationism and more about their constituents, things might turn around. But I doubt it.