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Old 04-18-2006, 11:18 PM
gmb gmb started this thread
 
45 posts, read 192,872 times
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Default What does living in the bible belt really mean?

I asked a question earlier about moving to NC from Southern Calif and if there would be culture shock and or fairly liberal communities. Many responses mentioned the fact that it will be quite different from CA because it is the bible belt. Well, what does that really mean? Of course I understand what the bible belt is, but what is living in the bible belt really like? Are you looked down on if you don't go to church? I guess I am confused because where I am from you don't talk about religion and we have our fair share of "new age" spiritual people. I imagine living in the bible belt means there are a lot of Christians, but how will that affect me if I am open to anyone's beliefs but just don't go to church? Am I naive to think I can easily adapt to the southern way of life if I wasn't raised in the area? I would love to learn more about it.

 
Old 04-19-2006, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
5,658 posts, read 17,669,622 times
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The "Bible Belt" is a slang term used for a geographical region in the South and the midsection of the United States -- areas that host large groups of fundamentalist Christians.

It just depends where you settle within NC. In my opinion, the Bible Belt in NC is alive and well but only in the small isolated rural communities especially along the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The major metropolitan areas are too diverse now to have a monopoly on any specific Christian sect. You should be fine unless you go on a crusade against some aspect of the southern lifestyle. The life-long locals don't like that sort of activity from newcomers and consider it extremely rude. Also, don't let appearances fool you. Some of the most powerful and richest people I've known drive beat-up old pickup trucks, wear bib overalls and seem uneducated in their slow casual speech but in reality are worth millions.

Last edited by mm34b; 04-19-2006 at 12:26 AM..
 
Old 04-19-2006, 12:57 AM
 
142 posts, read 458,005 times
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Arrow To gmb...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmb
I asked a question earlier about moving to NC from Southern Calif and if there would be culture shock and or fairly liberal communities. Many responses mentioned the fact that it will be quite different from CA because it is the bible belt. Well, what does that really mean? Of course I understand what the bible belt is, but what is living in the bible belt really like? Are you looked down on if you don't go to church? I guess I am confused because where I am from you don't talk about religion and we have our fair share of "new age" spiritual people. I imagine living in the bible belt means there are a lot of Christians, but how will that affect me if I am open to anyone's beliefs but just don't go to church? Am I naive to think I can easily adapt to the southern way of life if I wasn't raised in the area? I would love to learn more about it.
gmb,

I have to put in my 2 or 3 cents at risk of being moderated by the moderators.

"Many responses mentioned the fact that it will be quite different from CA because it is the bible belt". the individual that penned this response was being very polite to say the least.

In a nut shell - My wife and I have lived in 7 different states (due to various jobs over the years ) and over the last 23 years traveled throughout the U.S. - and by far the most challenging place to live has been in the Southeastern to mid-Atlantic region, notably central N.C. and Northern FL.

I'am sure that a lot of people will disagree, however these have been our experiences:

Religion in the "belt" is quite rampant to the point of it being like a cult. People will try to get you to join their church, while non-church goers are looked down at.

Discrimination certainly hasn't taken a hit either.

Antiquated laws still exist and some are even still enforced.

Want to feel isolated for not belonging or worse yet - trying to be an individual.

Culture shock - no doubt about it. Southern Cal to North Carolina - yow, better be well prepared for it.

The school system is pathetic - I read a few of my sons text books and some of the books didn't have a grasp of the English language.

The "L" word - not from what we experienced. L=Liberal mentality. Have to look in the western states for that one.

Maybe you are adaptable to these conditions. My wife is from the upper midwest and the most adaptable and tolerant woman I have ever known ( she has put up with me for almost 25 years - lol ) but she refuses to even talk about the times that we lived there (around 7 years total).

Maybe you like challenges - fine - give it a shot. I urge you to do your studying about the region before you take the plunge.

I wish you the best of luck.
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:16 PM
 
45 posts, read 156,153 times
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Having lived in the South my whole life I don't know any comparisons to other areas outside the bible belt. I can tell you that I am a non church attending Christian. Only because as a family we could not find a church here that we liked. We were/are accustomed to a much more cosmopolitan type worship than is available to us here in this small community. The denomination of choice around me is Freewill Baptist of which I am not. I keep my religion to myself only because it's a personal relationship with God, not one that I feel the necessity to share with or try to convert others to my beliefs. Did you know that such Southern Christians existed? There are many of us so no need to be afraid of the bible belt in general.

I have only had the feeling that someone was trying endlessly to save my soul only once and that was here in NC. I was offended and rightfully so. I did not discuss my beliefs with them, it was not their business and they finally got the message that the subject was off limits with me.

Those type people certainly exist. And mm34b is correct. In my experience it's more prevelent in the small communities.

There are fanatics everywhere which give most Christians a tough row to hoe.
Like I said, I've only been bothered once by someone. And their problem was with my not having a church.


What I have found in my area, is that those that I tend to have more in common with in the first place, seem less likely to judge the lifestyle of others anyway.
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Snow Hill, NC
787 posts, read 2,405,329 times
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I have lived here all my life and like someone said there are a lot of people that come around and invite you to their church. If there are of a different faith than I am, I am very polite and tell them that I am quite happy with the church I am going to. Don't get into a religious debate with anyone that is heavily armed so to speak. You won't come out "alive" so to speak. If the particular church is of the same faith that I am, I might even go for a visit but for the most part I just politely tell them that I am quite happy with the church I go to. As for the other differences, well, I am pretty much home bound now due to my lupus. But I guess I am really not the one to ask this question to. Perhaps someone that is newer to the area would have a better feel for the "differences" than I would.
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Mebane, NC
143 posts, read 316,556 times
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I guess some folks just find places where they fit well, and other places where they don't.
I don't think there's call for belittling the area. Some of the comments made in this thread remind me of some of my "open-minded" friends (who are my friends, nevertheless) who look down their noses at anyone not "progressive" enough. Oh, well.
It's like all the folks who used to tell me that Parisians were rude. I found that they really are no more rude than city people as a rule are anywhere and I've actually have a lot of pleasant memories from several trips to Paris on business and from one vacation. The key there also is to try and accommodate. I used what little French I could muster from high school and they certainly appreciated it.
Best lessons are avoid religion and politics as topics if you want peace & quiet.

Last edited by Steve W; 04-19-2006 at 02:43 PM..
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:51 PM
 
192 posts, read 418,461 times
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Quote:
Best lessons are avoid religion and politics as topics if you want peace & quiet.
So very true anywhere I think!
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:53 PM
 
45 posts, read 156,153 times
Reputation: 174
point well taken steve w. Thanks...

Last edited by NCKatie; 04-19-2006 at 02:55 PM..
 
Old 04-19-2006, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Snow Hill, NC
787 posts, read 2,405,329 times
Reputation: 281
Religion is a touchy subject for most people and it isn't one I would start debating with someone unless I knew the person pretty well and we were on the same page about certain issues.
 
Old 04-19-2006, 04:51 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
285 posts, read 760,947 times
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For me, life in the Bible belt is very interesting. Lots of choices are based on biblical quotes for people. When things are done in God's name, it seems to give free reign to choices.
One thing I find different is that our school board opens its monthly meeting with prayer. Several debated items that have come up in open meetings will have religious based rationales attached to the discussion.
I find it hard to have others interpret the Bible for me in a public school setting. I find it hard to have choices made based on scripture that I interpret differently. I would prefer more separation of church and state, or in this case, Bible and Union County.
On a positive note, there is never a shortage of people extending words of prayer to you. I work in a hospital, and see the devoutness of the area when people are ill. I suppose that is common in most places.
Have a great day,
Peggy
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