It may not surprise you to learn that in a ranking of the most sinful city in the United States, Las Vegas, Nevada, came in first. Wallethub.com, the website that compiled the list, considered factors like vice, anger, lust, greed, and jealously in its calculation. Topping the list of sinful cities (after the place that’s been referred to as “Sin City” as far back as 1906) are St. Louis, MO; North Las Vegas, NV; Detroit, MI; Charleston, WV; New Orleans, LA; Henderson, NV; Gulfport, MS; Atlanta, GA; and Orlando, FL. While Las Vegas landed the number one spot, it’s interesting that of all the characteristics considered, the city only ranked #1 in one category: vanity. In fact, Vegas ranked far lower in categories like jealously and anger. And, while vanity is considered a “sin,” many of the 182 cities on the list ranked significantly higher for characteristics like hate, anger, vice, and greed.
We tend to immediately envision a chaotic landscape of drunken gamblers stumbling through a godless sea of crime and debauchery when we think of Las Vegas. Interestingly, religious belief didn’t seem to be a consideration in this study as one may assume less religious cities have more “sin.” Most Nevada residents believe in God and consider themselves Christian. That goes for every other city on the top-ten most sinful cities list. So, rather than a study of sins (not real) or religious devotion, this is more like a culmination of crime reports, hobbies, professions, mental health, employment rates, and addictive behavior labeled sins. Vegas can be a risky place, a celebratory place, or even just a wild stop on one’s journey through the West. It’s also one of the most popular places to hold conventions and conferences, which is why a whole bunch of humanists are going there this Spring.
That’s right, nearly five hundred humanists, atheists, and freethinkers will descend on America’s city of sin May 17-20 for the 77th American Humanist Annual Conference! Perhaps a little godlessness is just what this Christian city needs to free itself from its sins. With award winners like Ijeoma Oluo—writer, advocate, and editor at large for The Establishment, whose work has been featured in the Guardian, the Washington Post, and TIME magazine— we’ll surely bring peace to these god-filled sinners. Our Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dr. David Suzuki—whose achievements include Companion to the Order of Canada and UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science; the United Nations Environment Program medal; the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize; the 2009 Right Livelihood Award; UNEP’s Global 500; twenty-nine honorary degrees from universities around the world; hosting the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things; and co-founding of The David Suzuki Foundation—will surely help us spread secularism and cheer throughout the streets of Las Vegas!
Also joining us is Keynote Speaker Gavin Grimm, an eighteen-year-old transgender rights champion whose Supreme Court public school bathroom case sparked a movement for trans-youth rights in the United States. And we’re excited to honor Ana Kasparian, our 2018 Humanist Media Award winner. Kasparian started her career as the host and producer of the Young Turks, and was later featured on Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2016. She has served as a contributor on MSNBC, the Russian television network RT, and Pivot TV; received the 2015 People’s Voice Webby Award for Online News and Politics Series; as well as the 2011 People’s Voice Webby Award for Best News & Political Series and the 2009 Best Political News Site award. She is a regular op-ed writer for Raw Story and has written for the New York Times and Time.com. I can feel the “sins” washing away already.
While our 2018 conference won’t focus on topics such as lust, greed, vanity, or laziness, our program does promise thought-provoking and interactive sessions on science, equality, secularism, church-state separation, environmentalism, political and grassroots activism, education, and much more! Watch out Sin City, the godless are coming to town and things might get a little…brighter.
Register for the 77th American Humanist Association Annual Conference today!