Philadelphia Kinda Sorta Knows the Bible

Lots of cities apparently more hell-bound than we are.

The American Bible Society has produced its list of Most- and Least-Bible-Minded Cities in America: Philadelphia isn’t on either of them. But we are on the society’s overall ranking of 100 American cities—and we come in around the middle: No. 57.


The rankings were determined from the results of a phone survey of 47,000 Americans, ending last August. The criteria for “Bible-mindedness” isn’t exactly clear from the ABS’s release, but a few good stereotypes are definitely present:

Not surprisingly, many cities in the East Coast continued to rank as the least Bible-minded in 2013. Among them: Providence, R.I.; Albany and Buffalo, N.Y.; Boston; and Portland, Maine.

Along with ranking the most and least Bible-minded cities, the study also found that an inverse relationship exists between population size and Bible friendliness. Of the top 25 Bible-minded markets, only three have a population of greater than 1 million households: Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Dallas.

Not surprisingly? Not surprisingly?! Apparently big, East Coast cities are dens of iniquity that … oh, who is kidding whom? We know lots of people of faith in Philadelphia—we even know a few people of faith, different faiths for whom the Bible is pretty much not the point—and a few heathen as well. Middle-of-the-pack sounds about right. And it doesn’t sound that bad.


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