The better parts of the Bible Belt are OK for liberals and non-Christians but that's not true everywhere. If you're lucky they just ostracise you or shun you.  If you're unlucky they attack you physically or even attack your kids . This happens especially in the smaller towns and villages. People often think the Bible Belt is the same thing as the American South. Many people will think they're from the Bible Belt if their particular town or family followed a Bible Belt-style of life.
- If you live in the Bible Belt and don't want to leave your home the larger cities are sometimes more liberal as are some of the universities and their respective towns.
The school insisted on including prayer at Damon Fowler's graduation which contravenes the United States Constitution. Atheist Damon Fowler involved the ACLU. After that the whole community showered Damon with Christian love. Damon got death threats, his mother tried to stop him communicating with his own brother. A group of people who disliked Damon assembled at a local church and Damon soon came to feel virtually everyone in the town where he grew up hated him.  His parents first held him in the house and stopped him communicating with anyone else, his sister contacted an older brother who took Damon away. Then Damon's parents cut off financial support and his mother threw out Damon’s belongings onto the front porch.  And of course what Damon is doing is all the work of Satan . 
When Matthew Barnett, the grandson of a prominent Republican politician Rex Barnett, was accused of raping a 14-year old the locals preferred to blame the girl and her family. The family were harassed and driven from the area.  Maintaining the pretense of God fearing Republican Party respectability was more important than justice.
All small rural communitiesEditLiberapedia doesn't know one way or the other if all the small rural communities are as bad as the worst. Readers are warned not to move to any small country town or village in the Bible Belt unless they have personal knowledge of that area and know it's OK. Even if an area is OK when you move in it can get worse if a firebrand preacher joins a local church or starts a megachurch an hour's drive away. Sometimes people with disabilities are not accepted In the Bible Belt, even disabled children are not accepted in some of the smaller towns in the Bible Belt. They are even teased and made fun of by other children and their parents don't do anything about it. The Bible Belt is a bad place for gays and lesbians to live. The Bible Belt Is also a bad place for racism! There are a lot intolerant racist people living in the Bible Belt
Origin of the Bible BeltEdit
The Bible Belt includes the areas where slavery was very firmly established before the American Civil War. Slave owners in former slave states preferred to devastate their native land rather than give up owning fellow human beings like cats and dogs. Others at the time respected these slave owners and thought they were God fearing men. Men usually owned and ran the big slave estates. Those who owned slaves or profited from other people’s suffering in different ways hired only religious leaders who taught what the oppressors liked. The Christian message became that slave owners could handle their property as they liked,  that white men ruled while slaves, women, Native Americans and other non-whites should be obedient. Christian teachings about social justice were largely ignored while instead the rich gave money to religious organisations and the rest were required to obey those over them without question.  Believers were expected to believe the Bible as those preachers hired by oppressors interpreted it however unreasonable that may be. Morality involved sexual fidelity for women and obedience for women and children. Rich and powerful people did not even have to follow all of that. 
The Slave states changed into the Bible BeltEdit
Up to the second half of the 20th Century the white racists of the former Confederate States treated non-whites as second class citizens or didn’t treat black people as citizens at all. In the course of the second half of the 20th Century African Americans in the Southern States fought to get the vote and to get equal education. The white racists gradually lost the battle to keep their part of America segregated and by the end of the 20th Century the white people of the Bible Belt were less inclined to say things like, “We’re superior because we’re white.” Instead they more often said things like, “We’re superior because we’re Christian.” And black Christians could join in when the KKK weren’t burning their churches down.  Many people of the Bible Belt still imagine they’re superior and extreme racism is still there though there's far less of it than there was. Some Bible Belt types today may get on OK with other races (as long as the members of the other races share their homophobic and religious fundamentalist views) but not all.
An interesting look at the history of North America is American Nations, "A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America", by Colin Woodard. Most of them are the result of being settled by different groups of settlers, groups that took their customs and lifestyles and ideologies with them. Later settlers often moved to areas that they would be the most culturally compatible with, making the cultural differences persist. The differences continue to persist, as reflected in the divide between "Red States" and "Blue States".
In his chapter "Gods and Missions", he describes the rise of the Southern "Private Protestant" evangelical churches after the US Civil War. The churches were the main institution that the Northerners did not control in Reconstruction, and they helped develop the South's "Lost Cause" mythology. After the North more-or-less gave up, the Southerners had a counter-Reconstruction that they called "Redemption", and Evangelicalism became dominant there. Part of its reaction against the North was its support of Biblical literalism and Creationism, complete with passing laws against teaching Evolution. This rather extreme Bible worship is what led to the term "Bible belt".
Bible Belt folk are politically Conservative and most support the Republicans. They think it’s good to give a little bit of money in charity to help poor people a little bit, but think it’s wrong to vote for political parties that will give a large amount of tax money to help poor people a great deal. Bible Belt folk often just quote the Bible and don’t think things through rationally. It is quite likely that deep in his closet, Andrew Schlafly has a Bible Beltbuckle.
In the Bible belt Atheists, Agnostics, Muslims, Mormons, non-Crazy Christians (Quakers, Catholics and Deists especially), and people who follow any non-Christian religion suffer a great deal of prejudice. Most people inside of the Bible belt claim to follow the bible while being complete assholes to everyone that is not a Christian (despite the fact that Jesus specifically said not to in the bible, but he was a Jew remember).
In many areas of the deep Bible belt there is discrimination against blacks and other non-whites, despite the fact that Jesus was of Semitic descent and Jews in the Middle East were darker skinned than European Jews, most likely as dark as modern Arabs. Bible Belt nasties wouldn't like anyone like Jesus in their churches because he wasn't white enough for them. The far right people in the bible belt don't follow the bible at all and just use it to justify their less intelligent beliefs. If anyone really follows Bible based morality people will despise that person.
People living in intolerant rural communities of the Bible Belt don't seem to have much democratic freedom. The law allows them free speech and allows them to do a great many things that their churches dislike. If they use these freedoms nobody will speak to them anymore. In the worst cases some more violent people from the fundamentalist community will smite them in the name of sweet Jesus. See Damon Fowler above The Internet may be the only place where they can express themselves freely.
Intolerance fights the growing liberalism in most of the USA, see In the Bible Belt, Acceptance Is Hard-Won.
Many different places try to say they are the "buckle of the Bible Belt,". That usually means the most fundamentalist part. Some people think that Kentucky, Ohio, and Georgia are the buckle but others say that the Florida pan-handle is the strongest part.
Fortunately, there is an "anti-Buckle" - an area of the Deep South which is LESS fundamental than the rest. Ironically, it is the Southernmost part of the Deep South which makes up this anti-Buckle: Southern Texas, where many Irish, Mexican and Hispanic Catholics live; Southern Louisiana, where many Cajun Catholics live; and Southern Florida, which has many Catholics, but is also simply a liberal area. The city of Atlanta, remarkably, is also incredibly liberal, but if you leave the perimeter highway I-285 it's back to the sea of red. Same thing perhaps goes to the cities of Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Dallas, Asheville, and Tallahassee, but like Atlanta they have surrounding suburban areas that are red and crazy like the rest of the bible belt.
Bible Belt StatisticsEdit
- The divorce rate, the murder rate and the obesity rate are all higher in the Bible Belt than in the rest of the United States. Somehow the Bible Belt example isn't improving society.
- The Bible Belt has a higher murder rate than other regions of the United States and less religious parts of the world.
- The Bible Belt's teen pregnancy rates are worse than elsewhere in the United States.
So let’s get this straight: a lack of practical sex ed, restrictive abortion laws, and slut-shaming young women in the name of religious morals adds up to the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.
- There is more poverty in the Bible Belt than elsewhere. 
- Health overall is poor. 
- Sexually transmitted disease rates are also high. 
- Hate and intolerance is well represented. 
- Those who can't or won't take the Christian values where they live secretly subscribe to porn.
The level of agreement in a state with the statement that “Even today miracles are performed by the power of God” predicted higher pornography consumption. States claiming to have old-fashioned values about family and marriage purchased substantially more adult-content subscriptions. 
On Average, education is lower in the Bible Belt than in other parts of the United States. Science and math scores are lower due to less priority given to these subjects. There are more creationists in the Bible Belt than any other region of the U.S. All of the high profile legal cases concerning evolution occured in the Bible Belt. Among them are the Scopes Monkey Trial (Tenessee), Epperson vs. Arkansas, and Daniel vs. Waters (Tennessee). All of these trials concerned the teaching of evolution in schools.
From a logical standpoint, the Bible Belt's strict Christian morals (often forced) are causing controversy amongst the local population. This evidence is quite useful in a debate against a Christian when the overused "Christianity makes people moral" point is brought up. It also brings up the point that shoving Christianity down kid's throats does not work, and causes them to have contempt for Christianity.
It's logical to assume that similar harm is probably happening in Christian fundamentalist Bible Belt type communities in other parts of America and the world. Statistics aren't so easy to get.
The rest of the worldEdit
Up to the 1990s, people in other countries could say, “It’s sad. Religious people in some parts of the United States are crazy. It’s nothing to do with us and we can’t do anything about it.” Not so today, in the modern world of the innertubes.
- The bad side: Today United States fundies from the Bible Belt and from the rest of the United States are active on the internet. Fundamentalists in other countries are vulnerable to infection with American fundamentalist ideas, as well, possibly, as are some more Liberal Christians. English speaking countries are especially vulnerable, since English is the only language most American fundamentalists are "fluent" in.
- The good side: Today, rational people from the whole English-speaking world can contact Bible Belt people, and can tell them that their way of thinking doesn’t make sense. Many Bible Belt fundamentalists are too brainwashed to hear the message, but, hopefully, some will listen.
- The completely flip side: Also, today, Americans can see that other countries have their own issues with religious extremists, despite their efforts to conceal it. (I'm looking at YOU, everywhere.)
Fundamentalism is wrong Edit
Its fairly easy to show that bible belt fundamentalism is ridiculous. They claim everything in the bible needs to be taken literally. So just quote Judges 1:19
And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron
According to Judges -- Iron Chariots Wiki uses this as a main theme.
The trouble is, all too often Bible Belt fundamentalists and other fundamentalists ignore reasonable arguments and say things like , "La La La! The devil is speaking through you. You cannot shipwreck my faith." And so it goes on.
- ↑ Atheists in the Bible Belt, About
- ↑ Deep In The Bible Belt - One Atheist Professor's Experience
- ↑ Threatened to contact ACLU for prayer at graduation: they seemingly backed down...
- ↑ Damon Fowler and the Abuse of Church/State Plaintiffs
- ↑ High School Student Stands Up Against Prayer at Public School and Is Ostracized, Demeaned and Threatened
- ↑ Missouri family becomes target in small town after teen says she was raped
- ↑ Family Is Maryville, Missouri the Next Steubenville?
- ↑ Slavery in the Bible
- ↑ This is a generalisation, Liberal Christians notably Quakers sometimes worked hard against slavery, indeed many took risks or gave money helping fugitive slaves escape.
- ↑ The Historical Roots of America's Christian Fundamentalism
- ↑ http://crime.about.com/od/history/p/ms_burn.htm
- ↑ Christianity and the Murder Rate
- ↑ THE MORAL HYPOCRISY OF THE BIBLE BELT
- ↑ http://www.os.dhhs.gov/news/press/1998pres/980625a.html
- ↑ http://blog.chron.com/momhouston/2011/05/16-and-pregnant-recap-the-problem-with-the-bible-belts-approach-to-teen-pregnancy/
- ↑ http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=10961
- ↑ http://www.morganquitno.com/hcrank04.htm
- ↑ http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd/Press_Releases/National_Report_Card_STDs.htm
- ↑ http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp
- ↑ http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/200903/why-conservatives-spend-more-pornography
- Bible Belt
- Atheists in the Bible Belt
- Bible Belt Atheism Wiki artricle.
- The Historical Roots of America's Christian Fundamentalism