I noticed the Dothan Eagle.....yeah, I even read their newspaper.....had an interesting article up this week. Journalists in Bama are always looking for a religious angle to something....for the weekend edition and it hints of some religious theme which folks in Bama enjoy. So Matt Elofson (normally the crime reporter of the Eagle)....wrote up this analytical piece.
The story relates to Gallup, who did up a poll nationally....state-by-state....on folks who attend church. It's an odd question and they probably just want to show that the traditions of the nation are evolving. The slant on the article was to tell some story about the society around us and their church-going habits.
So, I went back to Gallup and looked up the situation for the state of Alabama.....46 percent of residents say they attend church weekly. Around 25 percent of folks said they go near weekly or at least once a month. In the category of seldom or never....27 percent of folks held up their hand.
Now, at this point....you'd add up the numbers and say we are at 98 percent. And then you look at the choices and ask what's left.
Well.....two-percent of folks said they didn't know.
Now, you can debate this and talk about it for hours and hours.....but why would two-percent of Alabama folks just say.....they don't know?
Well....some folks don't keep calendars up on the wall and track anything much other than the NCAA football season.
Some folks don't track things like this because they've got more important things....like hunting season, tornado season, or wet-dry voting episodes.
Some folks would prefer not to answer a loaded question like this...in fear that some Baptist minister will jump out of the bushes and launch into a sixty-minute discussion over Moses and his woes in life.
Some folks will say that they drink too much and they might have been there at church last week but they were drinking a bit and just don't remember much of anything.
Some folks will say that they are taking a fair amount of pain-killer and weed, and just don't remember things clearly.
Some folks will question the guy asking the question, and if they work for the federal government....then simply provide this as a 'non-answer'.
My brother would probably respond that he would have been to church....but that dang fence got busted again by his playful cattle, or the barn roof required mending, or that Sunday morning was the only dry spell to cut hay, or that some neighbor stopped by on Sunday morning to ask thirty-six questions on the method of operation for a 1968 Ford Model 14-71 hay-bailer. Oddly, these events occur not only fifty-two Sundays out of the year.....but 365 days out of the year.
Oddly, the two-percent crowd aren't that worried about weekly church attendance, or the condition of pews at the local church, or if there's a new interpretation of Revelations, or if the new minister hired up at the church is an authentic Republican or a fake Republican.
The two-percent crowd doesn't want to get anyone upset or get anyone frustrated. So when you see the question pop up and some local guy wants to discuss the numbers because he's worried about folks.....well, just reassure him.....the two-percent crowd are holding together the rest of the state....under sometimes dire circumstances.