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Is it worth moving to a blue state?

I live in a red state. There are churches on every corner. Police officers have to direct traffic after church lets out on Sunday. "What church do you go to" is a question I hear all the time.

How much religious freedom does living in a blue state grant you vs. a red state? Is it worth a move?

By silvereyes
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I can only give you my personal perspective on this, but I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life and no one has ever seemed to care what my religion is/isn't. I've rarely been asked, and when given the answer that I'm non-religious, it has never been made a big deal of. There are a few churches in my town, and the bells ring every Sunday but I never see large crowds congregating. There may still be plenty of believers, but going to church doesn't seem to be a priority in this area.

WickedNicki Level 7 Oct 28, 2017

I've lived in California for as long as I've classified myself as agnostic and I agree with WickedNicki about people not really caring here. I would point out, however, that you might want to avoid parts of a blue state that lean red, or very small towns because people will get into your business more in those areas.
I also jokingly refer to the bar (or other regular hangout) as my "church" when people ask.

Your area of Massachusetts sounds nicer than my area. In Fall River, some stop talking to you, some will try to argue with you as to why you need xtianity, they'll tell you that you're going to hell, and when that doesn't work they'll talk about you behind your back and stop being your friend. They also keep reminding you they voted for Trump (as they call him) the Savior of America.


I've noticed that the "blue" states have a higher cost of living. I live in Florida which is half red half blue (blue=south red=north) and have lived in both sections and I don't see much in the way of religious freedom as you might think. Granted it's a little less where I live but it's still there and when I lived in the northern half of the state much like where you live there is a church on every corner. While I don't where my atheism on my sleeve but I won't deny it either. When I lived in the northern half of the state if asked I would tell them I was an atheist and I would get the "looks" but I would ignore them and carry on with my day. But I would have to say if your looking for a change of scenery then you should just b e sure about it.

ajr715 Level 6 Oct 27, 2017

I grew up in a very red state, and don't think I would ever want to move back there. Now live in Oregon. The larger urban areas are not very religious, but small town can be quite religious. Have hear that Oregon and Washington have a much higher percentage of non church goers. I feel quite free of religion. And feel safe saying that I am an atheist.

Or-Humanist Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

Portland is expensive but I live in Albany, about an hour south. My 1BD/1BA is $525/mo though if I had to replace it it would probably be around $700. The Amtrak station is 6 blocks from my place so, even without the expense of a car, I can hop on a train anytime and use the excellent and still improving public transportation in Portland. It is pretty good here, too. As a disabled senior I can set up a ride to anywhere in town for $2 and they pick me up at my door on my schedule. I've noticed even supermarket prices are a little cheaper outside of Portland. But it is great to have access to get my urban fix every once in a while.


I live in California, therefore it is the best state to live in. smile007.gif

ZenBear Level 5 Oct 27, 2017

I can't afford it; that is why I picked Florida instead. It is purple where I live.


Move to Canada already! smile001.gif

atheist Level 8 Oct 27, 2017

Canadians are much too nice. LOL Too cold for me.

Don't know what the heck too nice means. I'd do it if I could afford the move and could convince the hubby. He freezes in 60 degrees though so not likely. I do feel like I'd either go north or cross over to northern Europe if anything happens to him... especially if this country stays on the track it's on now.

@AmyLF You're right, there's other options! smile001.gif


I think I'm very glad I moved to New Mexico from Texas.
One huge relief is that my Senators now care more about actual humans and actual freedom than they do about forcing their religion and their guns down everyone's throats...

Of course NM has its problems, but it's so nice to generally not feel completely outnumbered by bigoted gun nuts. (I used to like my guns, and I still have them, but now I really don't have much interest in target-shooting or anything)

jmr1111 Level 4 Oct 27, 2017

Wow, I didn't think it could be that bad over there, makes me feel fortunate here in the UK. Religion is in the minority here, I guess most of the population are apatheists.

GothRik Level 6 Oct 27, 2017

I come from the solid blue state of New York, and though I certainly miss the flavor, there really is very little chance of attaining upward mobility due to the insane taxes, over-priced homes and co-ops, which is why we moved to the purple state of Florida three years ago. Thankfully, though there are people who are insanely religious here, there are also many who think and act progressively, so all in all, though I miss many things, this was a good move. As far as religious freedom goes, and I can only speak for the state of NY, if you live in the tri-state then you'll meet many liberals and people who, even if they believe in god, don't base their whole lives on stories from thousands of years ago. However, if you were to live in upstate NY, which is rural, you will find mostly conservative bible thumpers. It's not all about the state itself, but what part of the state you live in. For instance, if you live in Austin, Texas, you'll be around a more liberal, much less religious crowd, but venture out, and it's redneck heaven.

LoveThyDog Level 6 Oct 27, 2017

I’m a Southern California native and although I appreciate the lack of religiosity, there’s a shit ton of woo, WAY too many people and it’s stupid expensive.

I’m thinking Iceland is my next & final move.

AMGT Level 8 Oct 27, 2017

Thanks Tsjames..
Is it very expensive to live in Iceland? I haven’t checked. Sigh..


I live in Northern VA. VA is a purple state usually. So it is basically Northern VA, which is very secular and expensive (I wouldn't recommend anyone move here except for money/career) and the rest of VA, which is very much "the South". The welcome center on 95 is even way after you left NOVA... haha. I think Richmond is saying, "I don't know where you were coming from, but it definitely wasn't VA." Even though it is the cash cow of VA (being right out of DC, having the Pentagon and all that.). I would say it is totally worth it but not to the madness of DC. Maybe Madison, Wisconsin? The Freedom From Religion Foundation is HQ there. I came from the south where every person asked me upon meeting me, "What church do you go to?" I haven't had that question once here in NOVA and it is refreshing.

MustardSeed Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

I travel through MD often as well and my experience there has been similar to VA. In the urban areas no one seems to care much about religion, or at least it isn't the 1st question they ask you. I have yet to be asked what church I go to up here. When you get to more rural setting that changes but even then they aren't wearing their religion on their shirt sleeve like they did in SC or GA.

NOVA is nice. You have DC right at your fingertips, there is always something going on, and when you get sick of it you can take an hour or two drive and be in the Shenandoah valley or many other excellent, natural places.


To me, absolutely. I wouldn't want to spend my life somewhere like Iowa or Alabama. I'm hoping to move to Portland, ME someday.

erodednotion Level 4 Oct 27, 2017

I come from Seattle in Washington state. While like many places there are lots of churches I surely don't recall anyone in anyone else's face regarding what church you went to nor do I recall local and state politicians pushing religion. I'd check out other blue states if red states shove religion in your face.

SamL Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

A year ago I moved from Virginia to Las Vegas. Far fewer churches and far fewer street corner preachers...though in both they tend to be homeless drunks no one pays attention to. Not ONE person has asked me about a church but several ask what clubs and casinos I go to.

Vegas is a tough town and not for everyone. For me, I'm home.

DangerDave Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

I live in a blue state, we don't have religion in our faces all the time, but we're broke. lol

Paul628 Level 8 Oct 27, 2017

@silvereyes The state is broke. We personally have a few $.

@silvereyes They're all crooks. smile001.gif


I'm strongly considering moving to another country for these reasons. More for the freedom to have access to health care and be away from nutters with assault rifles than for religious freedom. I live in a college town in a blue state, and even though my roommate is religious he's respectful about our differences (we both are). My atheism is never really an issue with anyone I speak to about it.

For example, I remember when looking at apartments, my now-current landlord, when selling the apartment to me, mentioned "there's this church over here, and that one there..." I mentioned I'm not religious. He said, "Oh. OK." And that was that. No big deal made.

Dylan Level 5 Oct 27, 2017

I think you"ll like Seattle. I only know a few friends and colleagues who go to church. I feel here you'd have to "come out" as a church-goer. But my social circles are very liberal so other people may tell you a different story.

Mantra Level 6 Oct 27, 2017


I was an Air Force brat. I've lived in a lot of different states. Religion makes up the majority of the population in every one. You can't get away from religion.

mt49er Level 6 Oct 27, 2017

@silvereyes I think your point was more about places were acceptance and tolerance of those who were not religious is pretty wide spread? I'd take that too.


It depends. If you want to be around more peopel who think liek yourself, then probably yes. If you think your viewpoint should be represented even if in the minority, then probably no. You can't change or educate minds if you aren't there. Sadly, most minds aren't open enough for change.

snytiger6 Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

You might find other perhaps more important factors in moving areas. I live in a blue state and it seems nobody talks about religion, but there are a lot of veterans and vets get preference for hiring so if you apply for jobs vets apply for, technical ones for example, you may be at a big disadvantage..

McIntyre Level 6 Oct 27, 2017

Arizona is a red state and I live in a very red part of it. I’ve lived here for thirty-five years. I’ve thought about moving at times but then who would fight the good fight? My daughter is going to college at Flagstaff and loves it there though because she doesn’t have to put up with the crap that she did growing up and she’ll never come back to live. Schools are terrible here. Me, nah, I’ll just die here but your young so maybe.

gearl Level 7 Oct 28, 2017

Depends what you are looking for. I can't stand the cold and I moved from NY to Florida 26 years ago. At least FL is a purple state.

daddy4pugs Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

Since the number of representatives is capped, the electoral college punishes us for losing states, but that also reflects in congress. We need good smart people to cluster in purple states.

DJVJ311 Level 7 Oct 27, 2017

If your question is another way of saying "How much do people care about religion in blue states vs red states" then sure, it's worth the move if you don't want people to bother you about it. However, I would also argue that many in the closet atheists need people like you around BECAUSE red states are so relgious. For example, Seth Andrews from "The Thinking Atheist" prefers to live in Oklahoma (a red state) for that very reason.

cosmiccrunch Level 3 Nov 10, 2017

I moved from a blue state, California, to another blue state, Oregon. In both states I lived in small towns that were as red as a fire engine with, as you say, a church on every corner. But in California I was an hour away from Los Angeles and in Oregon I am an hour away from Portland, both vibrant, metropolitan cities that offer me an oasis full of people with functioning brains behind their open eyes. If I were to awake into some nightmare where I was living in a red state I would crawl for days over broken glass to escape even if all I could afford as living accommodations when I arrived is a small canvas tent. Yes. Sell your house, your jewelry, your children but get outta there!

GareBear517 Level 7 Oct 30, 2017

I moved from new england where its mainly blue. I chose the bible belt for the weather and the strong economy in this area. I grin and bear the what church do you go to crap, and the have a blessed day bully tactics. so it depends on your priorities as to being worth a move. there are still fundies up north, so choose wisely.

MichaelSpinler Level 7 Oct 28, 2017
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