Studies on states with a high connection to religion tend to run pretty static. Most religious areas exist in the Deep South and Bible Belt. On the other hand, the least religious tend to be in the northeast, northwest, and the West Coast.
However, that assumption doesn’t hold true when checking for state constitutions mentioning God.
According to a Pew Research Center analysis, Massachusetts headed the list of state constitutions mentioning God or a divine reference with a tally of 12 times. North Carolina came in second with ten references. No other states made the mention in double figures.
And although the U.S. Constitution never explicitly mentions God, all 50 state constitutions do. This happens either directly or through a reference such as “Supreme Being,” “Supreme Ruler of the Universe.”
In Hawaii’s case, it’s “grateful for Divine Guidance.”
The Georgia state constitution, according to the Pew study, mentions or alludes to God three times.
Constitutions mention God, but less religious overall
The findings run counter to a 2016 Pew Research report. That study placed Massachusetts among the least religious areas of the country. Two other northeast states, Vermont and New Hampshire, also earned that distinction. Vermont came in third with nine mentions of God in its constitution. Meanwhile Texas, a Bible Belt heavy-hitter, has seven mentions. In fact, Deep South states like Alabama (3), Georgia (3), Florida (3), and Tennessee (4) all finished behind states in the Northeast with a nod in the affirmative to the Almighty.
Overall, God is mentioned more than once in 34 state constitutions, with 116 mentions total.
In the 2016 Pew study, Massachusetts (33 percent) tied with New Hampshire for 50th in the percentage of adults calling themselves “highly religious.” Alabama placed first in that list, with Georgia tying Oklahoma for eighth.
A recent Barna study gauging the religious fervor of American cities placed residents in the Augusta, GA-to-Aiken, SC area as most prayerful. Chattanooga, a city whose metro area includes several north Georgia communities, placed high on that list in categories such as highest percentage of evangelicals.