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?
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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!
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.