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Old 12-04-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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The complete results of the Pew survey can be found here: Daily Number: Jesus Christ's Return to Earth - Pew Research Center. Yes, that belief is more common in the South than elsewhere, but is substantial everywhere, even among the unaffiliated. Note that the Pew results also seem to show a correlation with less education: that's why I prefer a more-educated population.

Here's what the Second Coming means to Seventh Day Adventists (Fundamental Belief # 25):
The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times.

Now, if you believed this, and that it would occur within 40 years, your plans and outlook would probably be considerably different from mine. Why worry about global warming? Bankrupt U.S. government - no problem. Smoking causes cancer - ditto. Obesity shortens your lifespan - ditto. War with Muslims - ditto. Not that many people share the exact views of the Seventh Day Adventists; I'm offering this as an example of views that are incompatible with mine.

I agree that New England is probably more secular than other parts of the country, but I think caution still needs to be exercised about the precise location of where one chooses to live.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Providence, RI
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Originally Posted by pauldorell View Post
I agree that New England is probably more secular than other parts of the country, but I think caution still needs to be exercised about the precise location of where one chooses to live.
I don't think caution needs to be as exercised as much as you would think. It's more about the people you choose to spend time with rather than the people you might come across. You'll come across people with those views anywhere, but you just don't spend time with them. In New England, those views are not being used to make policy (which is why you don't see creationism being taught in New England schools, not even the Catholic schools I attended).
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: The Woods
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The Seventh Day Adventists are somewhat active up here, but be aware many Christians don't even consider them Christian...

Catholics are the largest denomination here. The Catholic Church is quite conservative of course, while individual Catholics vary. You won't really find a lot of mainstream churches marrying gays here but you won't find lynch mobs either, FWIW. Education has little to do with how religious someone is really, it just may change how it comes out. After all, the first public schools in America were in New England...started by Puritans, the most extreme of Protestants...
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RunawayJim View Post
I don't think caution needs to be as exercised as much as you would think.
I'm not saying it's likely to be a big problem. There is a mild problem here in Evanston, IL, where I live. Evanston is probably one of the most liberal cities in the Midwest. However, it was founded as a "dry" town in 1863, and the Women's Christian Temperance Union began here. The public sale of alcohol was prohibited until 1972, and to this day many liquor stores and bars sit just outside the city limits. There are still lots of churches and there seems to be a kind of religiosity here: many of the women look like schoolmarms or Church Lady to me.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
After all, the first public schools in America were in New England...started by Puritans, the most extreme of Protestants...
Vermont must have its share of Church Ladies too.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Providence, RI
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"Church ladies" exist in all of New England, but not like you would think. I haven't found a place that has a higher concentration than anywhere else.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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For fun, you might like watching this old "Church Chat": Hulu - Saturday Night Live: Church Chat. I think Saturday Night Live has gone way down since those days.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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Originally Posted by pauldorell View Post
Now, if you believed this, and that it would occur within 40 years, your plans and outlook would probably be considerably different from mine. Why worry about global warming? Bankrupt U.S. government - no problem. Smoking causes cancer - ditto. Obesity shortens your lifespan - ditto. War with Muslims - ditto. Not that many people share the exact views of the Seventh Day Adventists; I'm offering this as an example of views that are incompatible with mine.
I'm not Seventh Day Adventist but I know they do not smoke and they eat a low-fat vegetarian diet. So that blows your smoking and obesity theory.

The converse of this perhaps is that there may be plenty of people, secular or religious, who are pessimistic and assume that the environment is going to hell in a handbasket anyway, that we cannot stop global warming or more extinctions of species, we cannot slow the growth of the world population which is gobbling up more and more resources. So why worry about any of the things you mention if humanity is racing inexorably to self-destruction? This is not my belief but I think a convincing argument could be made for it. In fact Steven Hawking recently suggested we prepare to depart in spaceships to populate other parts of the universe (a space-age Noah's ark?) in case the earth fails to sustain life in the next couple of generations (I'm sure I have the exact details wrong). I'm just saying I don't think religion is prerequisite to holding different views from yours, and you will find many religious New Englanders have views very similar to yours.

Anyway... back to Vermont.

Having lived in New England for eight years in the 80's (in NH, ME and Boston) I am at least familiar with life there, although because of school and work I think I was living in all the wrong places, some that I could no longer afford. I know I can survive the winters, but now being acclimated to a dry climate it would be challenging to return to the humidity and muggy, buggy summers and the greyness of winter. But the political scene has changed, and the states where I would feel least like a second-class citizen (because of marriage laws) are Mass. and Vt., their laws seem the most secure. New Mexico just elected a Republican governor (during whose tenure I hope to retire) who said she would not sign a domestic partnership law. Not that this is my top consideration of where I'd want to live, if I could move anywhere, but it could be one of them.

We will not be "living large" in retirement, quite the opposite, so we do need to do our homework on whether we can afford to live in Vt., Mass., somewhere else entirely, or if we should just stay put. We're homeowners now but still need to decide if we would be buying or renting in any retirement locale. Besides taxes, we do need to look at heating costs, health care, the whole shebang. Anything can change economically between now and retirement so for now I'm just thinking about which Vermont communities seem the most desirable that are not currently very expensive even by Vermont standards.
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:18 AM
 
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Regarding the Seventh Day Adventists, I was just using them as a hypothetical example, without getting into their full set of beliefs. No doubt they have other behavioral requirements such as the ones you mention. The point is that it's theoretically possible to move somewhere that your neighbors may as well be Martians as far as you're concerned.

Like you, I've moved about for most of my life, based on random occurrences and job locations: things beyond my control. For most people this means that you end up in or near a large metropolitan area such as Chicago, where the jobs are. As you approach retirement, you have the opportunity, perhaps for the first time in your life, to self-determine where you will live and find a location that actually suits you.

In my ideal retirement site, there could be a variety of people, but I would prefer people who are rational according to my standards of rationality. The more I follow politics and religion, the more irrational this country seems at its core. Usually I would prefer not to think about politics and religion, but the views of others often seem so bizarre to me that they cause considerable cognitive dissonance. For this reason, I would prefer a location that isn't dominated by Republicans or religious zealots, where the educational levels are high, and science is given credence. Vermont looks good in these respects. Perhaps money isn't as important a factor to me as it is to you, though we're not technically rich either.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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In my church when the topic of the Second Coming comes up you are likely to get a response like this: "Even Jesus said he didn't know the hour of his coming, nor do we know what he really meant by it. Now pass me the wine." (And as for "church ladies" I'll share an anecdote: one "church lady" I knew was the minister of a Congregational church. Her favorite babysitter was a friend of mine who was a very out gay black man. This was in a small New Hampshire town in the early 1980's.)

If I lived in a place where everyone thought like I did, I think I would shoot myself. Part of what makes life engaging for me is bumping up against people who are very different and finding out what makes them tick.

Just to play devil's advocate (with myself also, not just you) I would question the "rationality" of someone who could move anywhere yet wants to move to a cold region when he could equally choose a Mediterranean climate, or at least many other climates less severe than Vermont's. Many places in northern California, like Santa Rosa or Sebastopol, would be attractive to me if I could afford them. Boulder, Colorado was recently named as the city with the highest "brain power", and enjoys a sunny, mild climate for most of the year (again, too expensive for me). Trying to find a whole state that's a good fit might make less sense than simply finding a town that has the kind of rational reputation you seek.
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