Thinking of centers of sin in the United States and almost certainly Las Vegas or perhaps Atlantic City comes to mind. Long-time hot spots for gambling, free-flowing alcohol and sex would be the natural tendency.
A study by graduate researchers at Kansas State University that has received quite a bit of online attention recently contradicts that.
Sin, the research shows, is truly everywhere and perhaps no more prevalent than in the Deep South stares commonly viewed as centers for Christian belief.
Using legitimate, accessible data, the group used information such as robbery numbers to guide envy, sexually transmitted disease numbers to track lust and fast food restaurants per capita to show gluttony.
The results break long-held cultural assumptions and point to the fact that nowhere in the country – especially online – does anyone need to travel far to find temptation.
“Every city is Sin City nowadays, with the availability of everything online and the world we live in,” said Craig Gross, pastor of XXXChurch in Las Vegas, an anti-pornography mission, in an interview with Religion News Service. “It’s on display more here in Las Vegas, but the temptations are everywhere. It doesn’t surprise me that in the Bible Belt, where you’re keeping it more from other people, that it’s going on more than people think.”