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Old 06-16-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Many people don't know this but the Bible Belt is not the same thing as the South. Small parts of the Midwest are in the Bible Belt. Take Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, and a big chunk of Kansas for example. There are parts of the South outside the Bible Belt as well. Take central and southern Florida and New Orleans for example.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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My general observations:

1. Rural regions tend to be more conservative all around, and tend to be more religious along with that. Therefore, Bible Belt is not really a close fitting image / metaphor to describe the geographic region. I can tell you that rural Idaho, and Washington state meet this image very well, but could hardly be further from the south that the Belt is associated with. This is probably why I see references to places like Vermont in the above messages, as an example.

2. If one narrows it to urban areas as representative of the whole, then the picture does emerge that it tends to be southerly. I can say that Florida, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas cities that I have been to have a larger number of and just more physically larger churches compared to cities like Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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A lot of people equate the "Bible Belt" with the south. But that's not quite true: statistically the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa are all right up with the south on church attendance. The Great Lakes states such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan are right up there as well if you take out urban centers like Chicago.

Another thing to consider is that ethnic minorities and immigrants tend to be much more religiously observant than majority (white) Americans -- so it's no coincidence that the most secular states such as Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington, and Oregon are those with almost no minorities and low rates of immigration.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
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The bible belt could easily be stretched across all of rural America, with the possible exception of New England and places right up against Canada.

I know a lot of New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians who would fit right in with the bible crowd.

Now, if you base the "bible belt" strictly on pushy, intolerant, "in-your-face", lynch the non-believers kinda folks, then you get a much more restricted area in the south, lower Midwest and interior west.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
A lot of people equate the "Bible Belt" with the south. But that's not quite true: statistically the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa are all right up with the south on church attendance. The Great Lakes states such as Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan are right up there as well if you take out urban centers like Chicago.
Some of those places are Catholic or Lutheran though. I think of "Bible Belt" as implying a more Evangelical or Fundamentalist faith.

Not that that would exclude all those places. Northwest Iowa has some strong "Dutch Reformed" areas and the Dutch Reformed can be about as Fundamentalist, if maybe less emotive in style, as any Southern denomination. The Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod is also quite "Fundamentalist", although it's not quite like Southern Fundamentalists. Parts of Missouri are heavily Baptist and Pentecostal. Some of Eastern New Mexico, particularly Lea and Quay counties if I read it right, also looks heavily Southern Baptist.

Electoral Explorer - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times
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http://www.city-data.com/city/Lovington-New-Mexico.html
http://www.city-data.com/city/Tucumcari-New-Mexico.html
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:46 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingImport View Post
The main states I would say are a part of the bible belt are:
Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, East Texas, North and North Central Florida, North Carolina.... and to a lesser extent; Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia.
Pretty much all the states that are being shredded by these latest rounds of off season Tornadoes...
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:16 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Originally Posted by Time and Space View Post
Pretty much all the states that are being shredded by these latest rounds of off season Tornadoes...
Natural disasters hit many places irrespective of their religion or religious intensity.

I don't think most Christianity teaches that religious people will be completely spared from natural disasters.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPetty View Post
Many people don't know this but the Bible Belt is not the same thing as the South. Small parts of the Midwest are in the Bible Belt. Take Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana, and a big chunk of Kansas for example. There are parts of the South outside the Bible Belt as well. Take central and southern Florida and New Orleans for example.
I strongly agree with this. It may once have been, but the fact that parts of Missouri, Kansas, and like you said Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are included makes this clear. God-fearing certainly by itself does not make a place southern.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Some of those places are Catholic or Lutheran though. I think of "Bible Belt" as implying a more Evangelical or Fundamentalist faith.

Not that that would exclude all those places. Northwest Iowa has some strong "Dutch Reformed" areas and the Dutch Reformed can be about as Fundamentalist, if maybe less emotive in style, as any Southern denomination. The Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod is also quite "Fundamentalist", although it's not quite like Southern Fundamentalists. Parts of Missouri are heavily Baptist and Pentecostal. Some of Eastern New Mexico, particularly Lea and Quay counties if I read it right, also looks heavily Southern Baptist.

Electoral Explorer - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times
http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo...entecostal.gif
http://www.city-data.com/city/Lovington-New-Mexico.html
http://www.city-data.com/city/Tucumcari-New-Mexico.html
Extreme Southern Iowa I would say has Bible Belt influences. Illinois, indiana, and Ohio the last time I checked were all around 14% Baptist. I would suspect not only or southern portions but the central portions of these states have a large percentage of baptists. They may not always be the dominant religion but I would suspect there are a large number who associate with it. Regardless, with all of the Midwest states influenced by the Bible Belt, the major cities (KC, St. Louis, Cincy, Indy, Columbus, etc.) are all far more Catholic. Another thing to keep in mind is that many African Americans are Southern Baptists.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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The thing about African Americans is slightly intriguing as the Southern Baptists were formed, as I recall, by Baptists in the South who opposed some Baptist conferences rules against slavery. (It looks like the Home Mission Society or the Triennial Convention if I'm reading it right. Although it sounds like they didn't oppose slavery in total as much as oppose missionaries owning slaves)
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