Both Prof. Scott Thumma and Prof. David Roozen have been called upon by the media to discuss a new Gallup poll that ranks Connecticut 45th among the states in regular church attendance.
Prof. Thumma was quoted extensively in an article that ran on the front page of the Feb. 22, 2015, Hartford Courant. The article, “How Often Do We Go to Church? In New England, Not that Much,” said: “Only 25 percent of Connecticut residents say they attend religious services every week, according to a recent poll — one of the lowest rates in the nation. Elsewhere in New England, attendance is lower still. In Vermont, only 17 percent said they attend religious services weekly — the lowest rate in the nation — and 71 percent said they attend “seldom or never,” the highest rate in the nation, according to the Gallup poll, which surveyed 177,000 Americans throughout 2014.”
Prof. Thumma said the numbers reflect the cultural identity of the region: “If you’re in the South, there’s a lot more societal pressure,” to go to church, he said.
“I lived in Texas and Georgia, and the second question someone asks you after your name is what church you go to,” Prof. Thumma told the Courant. “I’ve never been asked that in Connecticut and I’m a religion professor.”
In response to the same poll, Prof. Roozen appeared on WNPR on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, to talk about the issue and gave similar responses. The entire podcast of that interview can be found here.