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I'm visiting NC, this week. I can't believe how many (really bad) Christian music stations and "Jesus" bill boards we've seen! It feels really oppressive. My kids and I made the billboards a car ride game. "Got Jesus?!"or ""I've found the Lord" So, at least we had a good laugh...
For people that live in similar areas, is it alienating, living outside the normative, here? I live in a rural, conservative area, but not to this extreme.

BJANINE 6 July 15
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29 comments (26 - 29)

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They have money to burn.

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I find it suffocating! I never appreciated all that Jesus stuff, when I was part the religious community! But, now that I have been out for long time, it seems bazaar! It is like being immersed in a kind of fog...and liking it, for the people of these religious areas! It is sad, as these people will have a difficult time, evolving to a higher level of understanding of the nature of life and their place in it.

I'm with you. Even when I was involved in the church, I never felt right pestering people. If they approached me and asked I would reply with whatever "knowledge" I had at the moment. I didn't ever fully believe it anyway so how was I supposed to "witness" to people?

I can mostly tune out the church billboards, except one that loudly declares, "When you die, you WILL meet God". Like seriously? No scripture or anything. Just a number to call. That one really gets on my nerves.

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Even the so-called Bible Belt here in the Netherlands is not that bad. There just are a few more churches and on average more people (including young people) go to them, but for the rest on the outside you can’t see what spiritually conservative places they are. We don’t really have many billboards here.

Denker Level 7 July 16, 2018
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I live in a rural part between Asheville and Hickory. It's still a little gross down here but I grew up 'up the mountain from here and its...my dad did a count and based on the total population of the county there's one church per 14 people. Mostly some variation of Baptist (southern, free will, normal, Southern free will) and Methodist with some Pentecostals, some Holiness, a Witness Kingdom Hall, a small Mormon presence, I think there's a Catholic mission for the immigrant workers and another small catholic church up near Linville. We had a Jewish family when I was living there but I don't know where they went to temple. No Muslim Buddhist Hindu, etc presence whatsoever...growing up there was...toxic and hostile.

As an example: in high school really 70% of the girls in my class were off-limits to date, even had they been interested, because their parents would never have allowed them to date someone that did not go to their specific church. And that's not just a polite excuse I've these conversations happen, both youth to youth and youth to parent. I've seen a Methodist mother forbid her son from dating a girl in his class because she was a Lutheran or something, and I've seen a couple of kids negotiating like who would need to go to whose church first to meet the parents and get approval.

That's the least violent or directly confrontational example that comes to mind. I've had groups of people try to pick fights with me, I've been locked in multiple variations of the same hour-long debate about evolution with literally every single other kid in the classroom across multiple years, the rotc kids used to play keep away with the Jewish rotc guy's yarmulke, it's surreal.

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