State Constitutions

State Constitutions

States having more mentions surprisingly are found to be least religious

As per an analysis by Pew Research Center, God or the divine is not mentioned in an explicit manner in the United States constitution. However, when it comes to state constitutions, it is an altogether different matter. In such cases, God or the divine is found to be mentioned a minimum of one time in all 50 state constitutions. The most is found to be mentioned about 200 times in total.

The Pew Research Center made this analysis after going through websites built and managed by state administrations. A number of keywords like God, Supreme Being, Creator, Lord and Divine were typed in. Any mentions not linked to religions were disregarded. To give an example, Providence, other than its ecclesiastical meaning, is also the capital of Rhode Island. It follows that mentions of the capital metropolis were not included in the analysis.

FT_17.08.14_religionStateConstitutions

The constitutions of Colorado, Washington and Iowa mention “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” or simply “Supreme Being.” The constitution of Hawaii makes the divine reference only in the preamble. The concerned paragraph states that Hawaii residents are “grateful for Divine Guidance.” All other state constitutions mention “God” at least one time.

A majority of the state Constitutions, about 34 of them, references God multiple times. The word “God” is found to be present 116 times in the state constitutions. The Massachusetts constitution has the God word mentioned eighty times. Both Vermont and New Hampshire each have a total of six references. All three states surprisingly are considered as the least religious states in the US.

The words Supreme Being or simply Supreme are mentioned 14 times. The word “Creator” has seven mentions. The “providence” word has been mentioned thrice and “divine” four times. The word “almighty” was found to be mentioned 46 times. The “Lord” word was found to be present 32 times in the Constitutions. Except in one instance, the word “Lord” refers to “year of our Lord.” These thus do not directly reference any God. The “Christian” word has a total of seven mentions.

A few state Constitutions clearly state people who do not believe in God are not permitted to hold any public post. These bans are not enforced as it is assumed that they violate the prohibition set by the US Constitution on the requirement of religious tests for people holding public office. 

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