The United States of America is the third most populous country in the world. (It is the only country less than a billion strong that has more than 300 million citizens.) And so I have always assumed that it incorporates lots of statistical anomalies. Certainly, it has a lot of the worst of everything, but also oodles of the best of everything. (Think of its intellectual, artistic, and gastronomic achievements.)
Imagine my surprise therefore at being told by the NY Times last week that it is now easier for a gay person to be elected to public office than an atheist. Wouldn't you think that the statistical heterogeneity that permits gays to be elected in San Francisco and Boston would simultaneously permit atheists to be elected there and in Ann Arbor, Austin, and Madison. False?
Today, Billy Graham has a full page ad urging people to vote on "Biblical principles." Who knew how many already do?