By Joe Rector

In case you missed it, an article in the local paper the other day reported that a study has declared Tennessee the angriest and most hateful state in the USA. I know that sometimes I grow more than a little peeved at things, as do most folks, but the statement about our beloved Volunteer State just might spark the fires of anger with everyone who lives here.

This study, titled 2019’s Most Sinful States in America, is flawed from the start. How can a study of 2019 be conducted before the year is only a couple of months old? WalletHub conducted the study, and it not only claimed Tennessee is the angriest and most hateful state but also placed the state fifth in rank of the most sinful states overall. The study judged states on residents’ violation of the “seven deadly sins:” anger, hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity, and laziness. Each of those were further broken down.

The fact is that this study rated Tennessee Number One. Well, I suppose being in first place in something isn’t so bad, but what I wonder is who this bunch is that sponsored the study. The company, located in Washington, D.C., started in 2013 and has 50 employees. It’s a personal finance website and offers free credit scores and other finance tools.

So, with that background, we can also see how this organization is qualified to conduct such of survey, right? I’m sure that these concerned individuals spent hours of time in the state. They laboriously studied the actions of large segments of the population before ranking the entire state as such a terrible place.

Sure, Tennessee has plenty of folks who are short on kindness and long on anger. However, most of us go about our daily lives without much reaction to outside events. We work, love, and play. Isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

How in the world can a study determine what state is the angriest? Generalizations based on crime reports can be made, but that still doesn’t work in rating the entire citizenry of a state.

Tennessee also ranked 3rd in lust, 10th in excesses and vice, 14th in greed and jealousy, and 19th in laziness. Once again, I’d be interested in exactly how these rankings were determined. How is lust measured? What are the targets of our Tennessee jealousy?

Here’s a newsflash for those who sponsored and published this so-called research. We Tennesseans are neither amused nor impressed. Passing judgement on a state is a frivolous act when the person(s) doing so never spend an extended period of time there. My suggestion is that those involved in study come to Tennessee and meet the general population…of cities, not prisons. They might discover that this state has much more good than bad and that Tennessee is a good place to live.

If those from WalletHub choose not to visit before degrading us, then I’d suggest that all those in the state refrain from using any services of the company or its parent company. At the same time, we graciously suggest that any who dislike our state leave as soon as possible or forever avoid a visit here. Upon your departure, we’ll offer our friendliest line, “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear,” but don’t think for a minute that we mean it. If you’re out of sight, you’ll be out of mind.