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I’m tired of living in the south & hearing the same lines & religious conversations. I need to move several states away at this point to keep my sanity. How do some of you cope with living in the Bible Belt?

By BenR3
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Frankly, I get culture shock just visiting the south. I feel for you for sure.

JustCarol Level 2 Oct 11, 2018

Ugh I know what you mean! I cope by just keeping to myself and talk mostly to people who aren’t infected with this disgusting disease of the mind!


I’ve lived in Arkansas all my life. Not everyone from the south is an obnoxious, bible thumping idiot. I have many close friends who are religious. They know where I stand on the matter, they also know I won’t change my mind or try to change theirs. Surround yourself with people who have respect for other humans. I know, easier said than done. Good luck!

Sbaren00 Level 4 Sep 18, 2018

You may find that it is more about living in a rural area, as opposed to a city here in Texas, or most of the lower 48.

JosephS Level 4 Sep 18, 2018

Not all of the South is the same. Live in Raleigh. Plenty of churches here but I rarely hear people even mention religion. I think all the diversity here causes people to respect each other to the point of rarely bringing up the subject.


Avoid any red (republican)/Trump state and you will likely be better off.

Assuming you don't mind taxes

@Bobby9 The benefits of a blue state usually more then makes up the difference in tax rates. In my (red) state sales tax is about the same as other state but income tax is among the lowest. 2.9% but as a red state we are also a "right to work state. In this state my experienced friend as an RN makes under 60K. In California the average for an RN is 82.1K Even with the 10.4% higher income taxes, she would save more working in is the highest income tax with their 13.3% income tax. If you are not working in the oil field in ND, wages here are not good. This also reminds me of an old friend that after over 20 years as a teacher in the capitol city of ND had to leave the state. In California he found a new (same title) job and his cost of living was equal to ND. As they only allowed him to carry 2 years of teaching experience with him, he had to take a 30% pay increase the first year and after two years a 50% increase (as the accepted 5 years experience) over what he was making in ND. His stories of the move made him much happier as the people there (those he encountered) were not the bible thumping red of ND. His only regret was not leaving North Dakota earlier.

@NoMagicCookie The cost of living in a metro area in Clifornia makes an annual salary of 82.1K not much more than borderline poor. However whether a State is Red or Blue has little to do with your point. Religious nuts come in all flavors, however it is easy to avoid them.

@Bobby9 According to, of those that identify as none (not religious) 23 percent of those identify as Rebublilcan, 22% no lean and 54% as Democrat. Although this is a greater then a 2:1 ratio between of those without religion favouring Democrats, I was expecting a greater difference as every rational thinker I know is a democrat and every theist I know is a Republican.

@NoMagicCookie There is no relationship. The stats prove nothing. BTW, I am an Independent, I thik both Republicans and Dems are crazy, where is the stat on that?

@Bobby9 look up five lines above your last post. You are part of the 22% no lean. . . really? you had trouble figuring that out?

@NoMagicCookie Yes, as it is not applicable


I live in ND. No better then the South. There are almost two dozen churches within a two mile radius of my house. Most here are vocal theists.


Rather than running away from unpleasant or uncomfortable situation, try and swim against the current

Noyi Level 6 Sep 17, 2018

It’s not worth the effort at all, my energy is better spent working on problems & helping people with things that actually exist versus the ones that are imaginary & it just doesn’t matter to me if it’s real to them to be frank.


I wouldn't do it. It's a shame, because when you look around for inexpensive warm weather areas for retirement, you generally find red bible belt states with state sponsored ignorance.

Byrdsfan Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

I feel you I'd like to move away from the south and its Bible belt


I ignore it plain and simple. And most of the people I'm around leave me alone about that religion garbage

motrubl4u Level 7 Sep 15, 2018

I lived in Alabama for a couple of years prior to moving to California. The SouthEast was definitely not for me either - the hypocrisy, racism, and all around fake "southern charm" that I experienced was all I could handle for a lifetime. I bolted as soon as I could, lol. In the meantime while I was stuck there...I drank - Ha! While I don't really recommend you handle your situation that way - I also buried myself in books and took as many weekend getaways as I could. Good luck out there!!

Bethi Level 4 Sep 15, 2018

Avoiding religious folks is impossible out here without becoming a hermit, but in some situations you can avoid most of the religious talk. It’s been pretty easy at work. “Let’s keep conversation professional, please. Not everyone holds the same beliefs.” It worked for the most part at my current job, but I happen to have enough pull to enforce it. As for clients, “We actually have a policy restricting religious or political talk, due to the fact that you tend to tense up even when agreeing with each other.” That’s how that works as a massage therapist, and I’m not going to fret over blocking a particularly persistent zealot from my schedule. Outside of work, I just walk away when talk turns religious. Eventually people start to get the hint.


It really depends where you are. I live in the most diverse county in the country in the burbs of Houston. There’s a meet up humanist/ atheist group in Houston. When I first moved from Canada, I landed in West Texas. As soon as my contract was done.. I was OUT!!

Oddly had you been in the El Paso area you’d have been in one of our most left leaning voting districts, but if you were more central or in the north pan handle area then yea.. those two districts are highly conservative, among the top 5 in the country.


I grew up in the southern Bible belt of north Florida and south Gergia. I could not live there today and have no desire to do so. If it is at all possible, get the hell out to preserve your own sanity.

wordywalt Level 8 Sep 15, 2018

I've found like minded people. Not a lot of them, but then I don't need a lot.

idoubtit Level 7 Sep 15, 2018

Sometimes the best way to win the game is not to play. I live in Texas and there is no shortage of religious conservatives. I don’t participate in conversations regarding religion and change the subject to a more neutral subject. After awhile people know not to talk about this around me. Same thing with politics.


Hi, Ben, and welcome to the website!

I dunno..I suppose just do as I do; nod and murmur, "Um-hum..that's nice," then walk away whenever anyone brings up religion.

Only look at people and pay attention to them when they are speaking on neutral subjects; this quickly trains them to avoid religion when talking to you.

If they invite you to church, just nod and smile, then walk away. Don't argue.

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I'm in Missouri and it can be as bad here sometimes. I work, come home and lock my door, only go out in public when I have to and avoid the nonsense I hear even then. I do not want of expect company outside of my own fantasies, and I ran off 2 Baptist door to door people this summer without letting them inside. I'm inside naked doing my own things and watching TV. I'm in my world and come Monday morning I will be clothed and in my right mind to go out and tackle the world for another 5 days.

Moving somewhere else will not change this. I will still be me and would just be around more ignorant people, nosy, and making up things about an invisible man.

DenoPenno Level 8 Sep 15, 2018

Very sad, I feel for you. How do you think it got such a grip in your part of the world?

@Marionville Don't be mislead. I'm doing what I want to be doing. I mingle with people daily in my job but I see enough to know that private mingling will still end up with somebody talking about the invisible man. I recently ate out at a little sandwich deli and bakery and the discussion started when I mentioned evil in the world. The checkout started to explain by saying "well, you see the devil" and she went on into other nonsense. NO, I do not see the devil. WE are the devil and that's the whole problem.
Elsewhere close to me a doper girl I know has supposedly turned to religion and posted on Facebook that it was "national take your bible to school day." She has 3 kids and wanted this reposted and passed around. NO. Public school has never had a national take your bible to school day, nor should they have one. These are just religious idiots that keep the bullshit going and keep on making things up.

@DenoPenno and those type of casual & religious conversations are the ones I find most disturbing. Even if you’re actively avoiding religious conversation there will be those that will just casually bring it up again..

I am a person that likes talking & thinking about politics, psychology, & sociology as well but since religion is so entrenched it is very difficult to have those engaging conversations without taking a bad turn. And honestly a conversation about religion with an agnostic, or atheist is fine, not because we’ll agree more often than not, but because there’s a good chance we can have an intelligent conversation about it.

@BenR I agree with you totally.

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