Paul Harvey’s Rocky Mountain High

Paul Harvey, professor of history at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, takes us on a religious journey through his adopted home state–a crucial swing state in the upcoming presidential election. 

I have spent some time in the northern “Front Range” region (my in-laws live in Ft. Collins) so I found his piece particularly interesting.  Here is a taste:

I live along Colorado’s “Front Range,” where 82 percent of the state’s some 5 million residents call home. Colorado is a large, western state, but the drive through the Front Range takes just over two hours. Coming from the working-class (and historically predominantly union and Democratic) industrial town of Pueblo in the South, a 30-minute drive up I-25 takes you to the base of Pike’s Pike, in the shadow of which sprawls the famously conservative city of Colorado Springs. Another hour northward places you in the capital city, Denver. Another 30 minutes northwest and you arrive in the university town of Boulder, referred to by the state’s more conservative residents as the “People’s Republic of Boulder.”

The drive takes you through some of the state’s richest and poorest neighborhoods; through belching steel mills, resort communities, suburban sprawl, urban gentrification, and a university town’s genteel poverty. Politically, this tour of the Front Range takes you from some of the most Republican and Libertarian to some of the most Democratic and Green political districts in the United States. Religiously, this tour takes you from Colorado Springs, home to conservative evangelical churches, through vast suburbs of spiritual-but-not-religious housing developments, to heavily urban Democratic sectors of Denver, and into Boulder, the spiritual converse of Colorado Springs.

And here is a little John Denver for your enjoyment: