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Old 07-31-2007, 05:25 PM
 
12 posts, read 37,300 times
Reputation: 16

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Aware of my own biases, I could use other some local perspectives, if you kindly dare to tread on a little glass:

I live in a SoCal Navy county (not San Diego), a great "family" place foremerly with a good job. It never was a singles haven, though, unless you grew up there (I'm from Mass.): two fellow engineers imported foreign brides! When my college buddy said I had to move back to "the city" (L.A., where we'd graduated without getting shot), I said, no way! But in my area - lots of houses and beaches, little else - I knew he had a point even then. Now, after 8 years of real-estate-induced exodus, the newspapers admit it's lost the middle class, save for wealthy families, and is getting older on average.

Outside Yahoo, church became the only place to find local singles not old/young enough to be my mother or daughter. Our region is hardly liberal; among non-hispanics, evangelicals dominate. I tried a singles group which was the only one for my age bracket in the county; it has since disbanded. It repulsed me from church altogether. I can't speak for all protestants, because I don't know what a "mainstream" protestant is. But while RC's have a less strict Biblical interpretation and are more live-and-let-live, not so with these folks. I don't believe in arranged marraiges, not thinking or speaking (forget disagreeing) about world events, or forcing your afterlife beliefs onto strangers around you. 'Met a lot of nice people, but I couldn't force myself to adopt all their ways: not my cup of tea.

This has impacted my view of Norfolk, which I visited last summer.

I didn't take in all the museums and history of the City, which I knew meant stuff to do, and a chance to meet diverse people doing different things. I'd come for the airshow (to see the F-14 I'd worked on retire), where there was a bumper sticker being sold, "Kick their Ass, Take their Gas." Since then, I've read Virginian newspapers on line, and seen this attitude, if it ever predominated (I hope not), has changed. There is heated, passionate debate: and that's good - on the home front, there should always be room for that. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, especially people sworn to protect my liberty and our consitution - so long as it's not a mindless kill-bomb-kill.

Diversity of religious views - that I've yet to draw a bead on, because I was actually hit on by evangelicals, at the air show. (If you can pull recruitment material out of the Somalia disaster, the power to you.) That's the "enlistment" I dread, because people are, and aren't, the same wherever you go. You can't expect predominant attitudes and traditions to change just for you.

I hate to judge over a million people in the area by that experience. But if a literal interpretation of Genesis is the predominant moral compass, if I'm going to frequently asked why I'm not in church every Sunday morning, and why the gal I find isn't bearing children yet, there's no sense moving there. I have heard and read comments to this effect regarding the Belt states of the midwest and Deeper South, where I would find myself alone very fast. I guess I am trying to gauge if Virginians feel they are different, even if Republican, a little more moderate and diverse, and have more room for a person like me to "fit in" somewhere other than cave without trying to be someone he isn't.

Feel free to call me what you will.

- Chris

Last edited by GreenerGrass; 07-31-2007 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 8,543,971 times
Reputation: 817
Well, I can say I live here, just moved back from Richmond Va about a year ago (but my parents and family have been here, so I have been around).. and I have NEVER been asked what church I attend, and I have NEVER been set upon by evangelicals. Ever. I have had johova witnesses stop by the house, when I was younger. and I have had Church of the Latter Day Saints missionaries stop by (but where don't they stop by).. but never and I really mean, never had that happen to me.

Oh, well, doesn't mean it doesn't happen, I just don't think it is an every day occurance...

Shellytc
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:55 PM
 
836 posts, read 4,718,509 times
Reputation: 996
Default yes, it does happen

Chris,
send me a pm. Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads area is home to Pat Robertson and his 'university' and 700 Club tv show. Before moving to this area five years ago, I was never asked what church I attended. While living in this area, I can't even tell you the number of times that happens to be one of the first questions out of people's mouths...'what church do you go to?'.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Porstmouth, Virginia (Old Towne Section)
59 posts, read 458,157 times
Reputation: 77
Default Keep On Going To The Carolinas

I moved here from NY a few years ago and if you are not military or willing to accept work for less then $11 per hour then this is your place! If you don't belive me then read the "help wanted" section of the Virginian Pilot see how much they pay, and then skip over to the "For rent" section see howhow expensive the rentals are, Then skip over to the legal services section and see the weekly bankcuptcy specials offered by local attorneys. Do the Math. Good Luck... Run.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Porstmouth, Virginia (Old Towne Section)
59 posts, read 458,157 times
Reputation: 77
Default Cbn

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, CBN has this area on lock down. Churches are big business here, I have "church time" at home with my family. I can't afford the cover charge at the local churches anymore. People are repping churches like gangs, I am very spiritual but I am not about to shout out a church because I like the choir. I don't "represent" McDonalds and they have been feeding me for years.
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:54 AM
 
33 posts, read 116,698 times
Reputation: 21
I guess I'm the only person that ever served in the military that actually has someting nice to say about the Hampton Roads area....
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
673 posts, read 3,062,039 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by summers19 View Post
I can't even tell you the number of times that happens to be one of the first questions out of people's mouths...'what church do you go to?'.
SAME HERE!!! When I moved here 7 years ago, that was literally the first question out of half of the people I met. Where do you go to church? And as soon as I told them I was Catholic they were like 'oh, well I know if you went to MY church you'd love it!' My husband was raised penecoastal and his family still refuses to even accept my daughter's baptism (that's why we did it back in WI with my family). I am so sick and tired of hearing their religious propaganda over and over that my husband wants to move back to WI near my family! My family has never once judged him...but every time we get together for a family event religion is always a topic. We went to Water Country on Saturday and they even had to talk about church there!!!

I was never one to care about what religion you are, where you go to church, etc. I feel that if you are a nice and decent person then we can get along just fine without that other stuff. Here its a whole different story for some people. I'm not trying to say EVERYONE is like that here but I've found it to be quite common.
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Old 09-10-2007, 03:39 PM
 
530 posts, read 1,115,794 times
Reputation: 1146
I haven't ran into this issue since we've moved here. We moved here from Georgia, and I have found Virginia to be nothing like Georgia on the topic of religion. I did have people confront me about religion in Georgia, but not here. It may be just where I'm living though or something. The only reason religion has come up in my conversations is because we happen to be sending our kids to a Catholic school instead of a public school. What we have found to be a much bigger discussion topic here is anything related to the military. We live in Chesapeake, and so far we have not met anyone in our neighborhood who is not currently in the military or retired military. They all talk about how much they've moved and deployments and stuff like that. I've found our neighbors to be extraordinarily friendly. I think this area does get a bit of a bad rap on these boards.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 5,137,567 times
Reputation: 704
I have been here 4 years, am not military and do not regularly go to church. I have never been asked about my religious background or where I go to church! I live in an area of Portsmouth called 'Churchland' - can you guess why? It seems they have (or had when it was named) a VERY large number of churches.

Until this post, I never even thought about the issue. But thinking about this further, the only thing I can assume is that alot of people here (taking out the military factor) were born and raised here. Some areas are still rather rural and I imagine that church played a big part in their lives for most of their life because it usually does in smaller rural towns. The big city has grown up around these areas and has mixed in.

As far as the military goes, I am proud to have such a large military infuence around me. It is good for the economy - but can be sad when ships leave for Iraq and leave family behind. Of course this is big news here.
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:04 PM
 
275 posts, read 841,819 times
Reputation: 144
Interesting...haven't had that too often, and I've lived here over 20 years. I will say, however, I've been in the store, and someone will strike up a "casual" conversation, and then try to ask me how my relationship with Jesus is.

Now, I go to church on a regular basis, maybe not every Sunday, but I don't just attend on Christmas and Easter either. I understand trying to get others interested in religion, but I'm not fond of the casual conversation as an incebreaker either. I feel that one person's religious decisions or beliefs is between them and God, or which religious deity they choose. And my thoughts shouldn't influence them no more than the next man's.
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