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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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38 comments
1

What is a blue state?

Robbaggs Level 2 Nov 14, 2017
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In the U.S. it refers to a liberal state that aligns with the democratic party. Such places are more relaxed in terms of diversity in ... well, pretty much everything
1

I remember Police being around when people were going to worship in Australia. the Mums and Dads and kids were Muslim so the cops weren't there dealing with traffic. I just felt very sad and slightly embarrassed.

Shaved Level 3 Nov 14, 2017
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This is what it looks like where I live ( in the Green Bit) but its only England so hardly anyone goes to church even in the Blue bits of Sussex County. Ho Hum

Shaved Level 3 Nov 14, 2017
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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 2 Nov 10, 2017
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Point taken, I live in OK... but I don't like having that weight on my shoulders.
2

I could not see myself moving to a red state, unless I was moving to a blue enclave like Austin. I have live most of my life in Massachusetts and California, and I value the freedom of expression that the people in these states have.

Diarmaede Level 5 Nov 6, 2017
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I envy you!
1

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 6 Oct 30, 2017
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Sorry, GareBear, I won't be able to fund my move with the sale of children. I have none. haha
But, yes, sometimes I do feel like jumping out of my skin here and that it may be worth the hardship of moving. I'm looking at my options.
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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 5 Oct 28, 2017
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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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This is true.
I live in an area with a relatively stable economy-- but the weather SUCKS.
4

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 4 Oct 28, 2017
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Sounds lovely! I think I could relax if my world was like that.
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.
0

Both sides are equally full of shit and worthless so it's honestly a waste of time, move because you will be happy, not because of bullshit like politics.

Freeman Level 5 Oct 27, 2017
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Yes, but I'm wondering if a move can really make a difference in overall well being. Less religious oppression and better politicians might.
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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
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Just wondering if it's just worth the hardship- if living in a blue-r state is better. I'd narrow down the specifics if I planned to do it. There are plenty of places less religiously dense as Oklahoma.
@markhas: hahaha. I don't blame you.
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I think you should only move if it's dangerous where you live, you bought a better property elsewhere, or if your job is elsewhere. If you move just because of religion, that's exactly what they want.

Mangoes Level 5 Oct 27, 2017
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Eh, I don't care what THEY want. I care about my well being.

It's cheaper to live where I do- but it makes working in the state terrible.
Exactly! Red states have much lower taxes but you get what you pay for: crap law enforcement, crap schools, no zoning laws so anyone can set up a dump anywhere. When a foreign business is lured in by low/no taxes they are quick to find out that the local work force is uneducated and unreliable and often have to recruit employees from elsewhere.
3

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 5 Oct 27, 2017
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Glad you feel at home! I hope I can feel that way some day too.
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I live in a blue state, we don't have religion in our faces all the time, but we're broke. lol

Paul628 Level 7 Oct 27, 2017
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Hmm.. broke or religiously oppressed...
LOL both sound delightfully unappealing.
1

I live in Dallas Texas, a red state. But Dallas is blue. I think large cities tend to be more liberal than small towns and rural areas.

ThomasMeador Level 7 Oct 27, 2017
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I live near a city too, but unfortunately there is no liberal area in Oklahoma. Then again, we're so undeveloped there are only 2 major cities to begin with...
No, one person can't cull these deluded masses. They are more powerful in numbers and the discrimination is heavier because of it.
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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
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Yeah, I've looked at that. I'd rather go into a bluer area of America because of the proximity to my family. Also, I think it would be harder for me to find employment in a lot of other countries. Many like to hire within. Then there is obtaining citizenship. Just more hoops to jump through than finding a place that's more religiously tolerant...
0

No.

Redlegdex Level 5 Oct 27, 2017
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I live in a blue state (Minnesota), and there are lot of churches, but I'm not typically asked what church I go to. That said, their are still bible thumpers up here. Michele Bachmann, in my view was an embarrassment to Minnesotans for a long time. I can't explain how she was elected so many times.

I'll say this, anyone who has ever said 'Minnesota nice' has not spent much time here. It's more like Minnesota passive aggression. The religious here are not always in your face about it, but that doesn't mean they are quite.

We also have a lot of Muslims here. And a fair number of Jews too. We find ways to coexist. But there are always exceptions to the norm.

RundioII Level 4 Oct 27, 2017
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yes, I say Oklahoma is full of smiles and daggers-- passive aggressive BS.
2

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 4 Oct 27, 2017
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Yeah, I am interested in a swing state like VA
4

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 5 Oct 27, 2017
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Yeah, it can make even an accepting person resentful when it's pressing from all sides.
5

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 5 Oct 27, 2017
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Yes, Florida is a mixed bag. Not a fan of the mosquitoes though!
4

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
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That is a good point. There are clusters depending on location within the state.
4

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 7 Oct 27, 2017
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Iceland would be awesome, but be careful about cost of living (assuming you did not mention Iceland tongue in cheek).
Thanks Tsjames..
Is it very expensive to live in Iceland? I haven’t checked. Sigh..
It was expensive when I visited. I would suspect similar at present. The Nordic countries have a reputation of being expensive to visit.
5

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 3 Oct 27, 2017
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Nice. I love the idea of Oregon- it just seems expensive.
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.
Thanks for the info. That is more affordable than I expected.
4

Hi Silvereyes. I too have been asking this same question for myself. I live in SC and experience the same annoying in my face christian bullshit EVERY damn day from total strangers. It is exhausting. I am looking in to moving to Vermont. Anyone out there have any feedback on Vermont?

jodyfine Level 6 Oct 27, 2017
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Beautiful in the summer, frozen death in the winter.
Perhaps I'll keep my little southern country dump to live in during the winter months and hit the road to parts north in the summer.
They have great maple syrup. And Bernie Sanders!
Thanks GareBear! I'm packing my bags!
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