Talking the talk but not walking the walk

What the Catholic Church says and reality are two opposite points on the moral compass

By their fruits ye shall know them

 

Federal statistics reveal that across the nation, from state to state, there’s a huge difference in social pathology, with murder rates varying 6 fold, abortion rates varying 8 fold, SAT scores varying 228 points, marriage rates varying 72%, and divorce rates varying 21%.  The states with the highest percentage of Catholics (i.e., Illinois with 63%, Rhode Island with 59%, and Massachusetts with 43%) do very poorly in all these areas, whereas the states with the least percentage of Catholics (i.e., North Dakota with 22%, Iowa with 17%, and Utah with 8%) are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Where you would expect Catholic states to have the lowest abortion rates because of opposition to abortion by the Catholic Church, the abortion rates in ALL of these states are the highest in the country, with the rate in New York (38% Catholic) being 8 times higher than the rate in South Dakota (20% Catholic).  Where you would expect the marriage rate in Catholic states to be the highest, their rates are actually the lowest, with non-Catholic states like Utah (8.3% Catholics) having a marriage rate 73% higher than Catholic states like New York.  With the putative Catholic opposition to divorce, you’d expect to see a clear and distinct difference between states in this area, but relative to the low marriage rates of the predominately Catholic states, there’s no such distinction.  As a percent of the number of marriages, divorces in the most Catholic state Illinois (with 63% Catholics) are on par with the least Catholic state Utah (with 8% Catholics).  And even here, Utah wins because their marriage rate is 48% higher than Illinois anyway.

A real unexpected outcome of evaluating these statistics is the much lower murder rates in ALL the least Catholic states relative to ALL the most Catholic states.  For decades now, the murder rates in non-Catholic states like Vermont, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota have been lower than 1 per 100,000 population, contrasted to rates greater than 5 in ALL these mainly Catholic states.  In 1994, compared to North Dakota, the murder rate in New York was 55 TIMES higher, in Rhode Island was 20 TIMES higher, and in Massachusetts was 17 TIMES higher.

If the abortion rate of the entire nation were equivalent to South Dakota, there would be 1,256,693 fewer abortions every year.  Conversely, if it were equivalent to primarily Catholic New York, there would be 944,000 MORE.  If the marriage and divorce rates of the entire nation were equivalent to that of Catholic free Tennessee, there would be 832,000 MORE marriages and fewer divorces.  Conversely, if it were equivalent to a Catholic state like Massachusetts, there would be 416 thousand FEWER marriages and the divorce rate would INCREASE.  If the murder rate in the entire nation were equivalent to North Dakota in 1994, there would be only 560 murders annually, a reduction of 25,520 murders.  Conversely, if it were equivalent to a Catholic state like New York, there would be 6,090 MORE, and if it were equivalent to Catholic-influenced Washington, DC, there would be 176,900 MORE.

If SAT scores for the entire nation were equivalent to Iowa’s score of 1,221, we’d score the highest in the world on both TIMSS and PISA.  But if they were equivalent to Rhode Island’s score of 993, we’d score between Israel and Africa.

The reason Rhode Island scores 228 SAT points lower than Iowa can’t be completely explained by race (a higher percentage of “minorities”), because SAT scores for Whites in Iowa are 192 points higher than for “whites” in Rhode Island.  It can’t be due to lack of education spending, because Rhode Island spends three times MORE per student for education than Iowa.

http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/North_Dakota_CBS_08.pdf

Rhode Island

New York

Mass

Iowa

North Dakota

SAT reading total

495

491

514

608

594

SAT math total

498

508

525

613

604

SAT reading Whites

516

520

529

614

607

SAT math Whites

519

533

537

613

610

Rhode Island

New York

Mass

Iowa

North Dakota

SAT reading total

15

11

34

128

114

SAT math total

18

28

45

133

124

SAT reading Whites

36

40

49

134

127

SAT math Whites

39

53

57

133

130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State

Catholics % State population

Murder  per 100k

Abortions per 1,000 women age 15-44 1988

NAEP Whites

SAT Math 1994

SAT less 400 pts

Marriages per 1,000 population

Divorce as percent marriage

Illinois 

63.00%

6

26.4

560

160

5.8

43.7

Rhode Island 

59.20%

3

30.6

275

463

63

7

41.3

Massachusetts 

42.70%

3

30.2

283

477

77

6.1

36.6

New Jersey 

41.10%

5

35.1

478

78

5

57.6

Connecticut 

38.70%

3

31.2

288

477

77

5.5

49

New York 

37.60%

5

43.3

283

473

73

7

39.5

Pennsylvania 

29.40%

6

18.9

461

61

4.7

49.8

Texas 

29.20%

6

24.8

285

474

74

7.4

43.7

New Hampshire 

24.00%

1

17.5

491

91

7.3

46.3

North Dakota 

22.20%

1

14.9

286

592

192

6.5

36.6

South Dakota 

20.50%

1

5.7

563

163

8.3

36.9

Iowa 

17.10%

1

14.6

285

583

183

6.9

39.7

Maine 

15.10%

1

16.2

285

469

69

7.9

44.8

Montana 

12.10%

2

16.5

287

536

136

7.3

51.5

Utah 

8.30%

1

12.8

279

563

163

8.6

46.7

 

 

statescrime1994.jpg

 

Excel spreadsheet