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Old 07-15-2014, 01:51 PM
 
Location: LA, CA/ In This Time and Place
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The West Coast is one, but the God Less the better!
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I was in New York City and north Jersey during Christmas last year. It did feel like there was a more "intense" Christmas vibe there compared to what I'm used to in the Washington DC area. The news media also seemed to cover more of the directly religious aspects of Christmas - such as the Vatican mass. I think that's where the Catholic influence is evident.

In the Washington DC area, people mostly just shop like crazy and decorate their homes in the weeks leading up to Christmas and exchange gifts on Christmas day. The religious aspect is more subdued.
I honestly think it is because there are so many Italians (and Irish) in NJ and the NYC area. Italians are known to be religious as a whole.

In Italy, there are crosses, saints, and Jesus/Mary statues and little shrines everywhere. On top of mountains, on the side of buildings, right on the side of the street, etc. I was shocked to find the country so religious when I visited in 2011. Coming from the US, at least the northeast, where open displays like that outside of churches or private property don't exist, I was surprised, but pleasantly so. It was nice.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyGirl415 View Post
I'm glad people agree with some part of what I'm saying. Again, of course anyone can celebrate and I understand that. At the end of the day it's not a big deal. I'm not going to get into a fight with my friend, or anyone else, about it, but truth be told it kind of bothers me - I can't help feeling that way even if it may seem ridiculous to some. I guess since I grew up in a fairly religious home/family, and attended church not just on Christmas but every other holiday and throughout the year on and off weekly if we could, I can't see it any other way because I associate the holiday with religion more than anything.

I have always celebrated by going to church but that's about where the overly religious aspect of it ended (aside from saying grace at dinner - but we do that every holiday. Just because I think Christmas is a religious holiday above all else doesn't mean I celebrated by praising God and Jesus all day and night... I simply went to church either on the Eve or Day then spent time with family, eating lots of Italian food ). The fact that Christmas is religious was always made important in my family, above presents. This is in contrast to my friend I mentioned who was raised with no religion and as an atheist, celebrates it solely for the gifts, and claims to not know it was religious until rather late in life, which I really cannot wrap my head around at all. Some people I grew up with did not attend church on Christmas and I remember not understanding that as a child, knowing what Christmas is celebrated for. It seems the large majority who celebrate Christmas today don't go to church even on the holiday, and some aren't Christian or religious at all. It's interesting. I guess it has become cultural and traditional more than anything, which I find kind of sad to be honest.

All that being said, I do think my town is fairly religious. We are overwhelmingly Catholic, with many Irish and Italians, so I think that is why we tend to be a pretty Catholic town and Christmas was always a big deal in my town, even if not everyone celebrates it for religious purposes.

If any gift giving holiday was going to catch on and become mainstream rather than staying with the religious, you'd think it'd be Hannukah - 8 days of presents is better than 2. As a kid, my Jewish friends used to playfully gloat that they get more presents than us (or at least more days of presents) and there were times when I actually was jealous. But I didn't start celebrating it just because…
When my daughter was little she made that argument about her Jewish friends getting gifts for 8 days. I pointed out that it's generally one gift a day, and a small one at that, and that she probably got as much, just all on the same day.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
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The interesting thing about this thread is the term "godless", because some of the places that are mentioned as being the most "godless", NYC and New England (or at least CT), both experienced an upswing in church attendance after the horrific events of 9/11 and Sandy Hook. Does anyone else remember the news video of people streaming into churches following both of these events, how seemingly everyone in Newtown flocked to the Catholic and Episcopalian churches there, and how New Yorkers flocked to any church that they could find? And then, at least in NYC, church attendance dropped again after the initial shock wore off and life had to go on as usual.

So maybe this isn't being "godless" so much as harboring a belief in God but basically choosing to ignore Him when things are going well and then turning to Him when something terrible and beyond human comprehension happens.
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:22 PM
 
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Most and least religious cities:

Provo-Orem, Utah, Is Most Religious U.S. Metro Area
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Old 07-15-2014, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Funny, a lot of people in Boulder, CO consider themselves "spiritual but not religious". That said, a considerable number go to church regularly, even if they're not in the "very religious" category.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Armsanta Sorad
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Mostly the West Coast.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by West of Encino View Post
Mostly the West Coast.
I disagree. Southern California is host to several megachurches, and religious groups have recently had serious influence in state politics there (remember prop 8?). It may be far from being the "Bible Belt", but religion (specifically Christianity) still factors pretty big in at least SoCal. I think it's a little more "godless" in NorCal (mainly just the Bay Area), Portland, and Seattle... but not the West coast in general.
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