The conclusion of Easter and Passover, provides a moment for many people to reflect on the importance of faith in their personal lives.
New Mexico has a very diverse “faith” history. Native American Spirituality, Spain’s quest to promote the Catholic religion, the rich Jewish history in our state, a growing base of Eastern religions and the long established Christian outreach to people in urban and rural areas is a hint of how important faith is in New Mexico.
The question was simple, “what is the importance of faith in your personal life?” It didn’t focus on a specific religion, theology, practice, mantra, belief (or lack there of) or relationship. The possible responses were very important, fairly important, not very important and don’t know/won’t say.
Overwhelming, New Mexico residents responded that faith is very important (74 percent) in their personal life.
Hispanic’s rely on faith more than Anglo residents and women more so than men.
New Mexico residents in the age ranges of 35-49 years and over 60 years of age rely more on it than other age groups.
Republicans outpace democrats; but democrats rely on faith more than both independent and nonregistered voters.
The connection between income and faith is interesting. New Mexico residents who are “in the middle” rely on more faith than those with higher and lower incomes.
While it is interesting to see how faith is viewed in different parts of New Mexico, I found it particularly interesting that Albuquerque residents have the lowest reliance on faith in our state.
Cassie Bernall, a victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, relied on her personal faith, choosing death instead of compromising her belief. As I reflect on the results of this question, I wonder how many of the 74% that replied “very important” would be willing to make the same sacrifice as Cassie.
Yes, there are some questions that just can’t be answered in a survey.