Talk:Bible Belt

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Theocracy and Dominionism Oppose the US Constitution's 1st Amendment[edit]

Is it a fact that Bible Belt groups promote opposition to the US Constitution's 1st Amendment through their initiative to install a theocratic government by way of a US President backed by tele-evangelists? The fact predicated by evangelical groups to install a God-fearing US Government necessitates the replacement of the Secular US Constitution with Bible-directed interpretations and law through Dominionism and this inimical to the US Constitution.

Consider these practical examples:

“ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ”

Against the recent news of Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy Giuliani as candidate of choice. Can you spot the conflict of interest? Take the recent example of Faith-based initiatives to distribute welfare benefits. Further nuggets of information can be discern from Pat Robertson's own site http://www.patrobertson.com --220.239.179.128 (talk) 03:58, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Homophobia link[edit]

Why is this here? There is no mention of it in the main article. 131.109.147.121 14:25, 10 May 2006 (UTC)Lisette

1925 Origins[edit]

What exactly is the Bible belt?

Main Entry: Bible Belt
Function: noun
Date: 1925
an area chiefly in the southern U.S. believed to hold uncritical allegiance to the literal accuracy of the Bible; broadly : an area characterized by ardent religious fundamentalism
What's the source of this? ~ Dpr 02:07, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Synonyms of Bible Belt[edit]

I've never heard the term "bible blob" in my life, yet someone has made it synonymous with the term "Bible Belt." As the discussion below shows, the term "Bible Belt" is at least decades old and is a distinct subject in sociology. The term "bible blob," such as it is, gets about twenty hits in a Google search, whereas "Bible Belt" gets about a million. None of the hits for "bible blob" even refer to the Bible Belt, except of course for this entry on Wikipedia. A "belt" refers to a large geographical area, i.e. Rust belt, Corn belt, etc. Why not "Rust Blob?" I vote to delete this term because it is contrary to accuracy standards of Wikipedia.--Mcattell 15:44, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Bush/Individual figures[edit]

I'm no fan of G.W. Bush at all, but I don't think he belongs in this particular entry, any more than Bill Clinton or Martin Luther King or other faith-espousing leaders who come these states. (Besides, Bush like his dad was raised in Connecticut more than Texas) Bush's self-serving religiosity is a topic for his biography article, or perhaps the article on Protestant fundamentalism, but not in a geographic, semi-dictionary entry, I think. So I'm going to remove it again - and not call it "minor" this time, sorry about that. What do you think? DavidWBrooks 14:05, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Actually, Bush lived in Texas from the age of 3. I agree that there's no particular purpose in including him here, though.
I believe that was his official residency. He spent most of his time in New England I'm assuming, due to his Maryland DWI.

--

Political, Cultural Context[edit]

I spent the most significant amount of my life in the midst of the bible belt and have spent a bulk of my time out of the belt studying the influence and perception of the religious south in the rest of the country. I think I would have to disagree with your assertion about excluding southern politicians from an understanding of the bible belt. The term "bible belt" is not a geographical distinction but a cultural one. The way G. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, MLK Jr., Jimmy Carter and many other politicians have used evangelical religion to shape their message and administrations is very much a part of the landscape of the south. Religion in the south is highly political and thus so are southerners. The interplay between religion and political figures is integral in the cultural identity of the region. -

The following is included June 2005 for the use of further editors:

The term Bible Belt is used mainly, but not uniquely, by detractors of or negative commentators about a people or region that is said to be very religious, perhaps too religious. The term is not strictly regional, like flyover country or the less negative heartland, but is often used to describe the middle of the country in a way that diminishes that region. Politically, the term is often a shorthand to describe cultural conservatives whose beliefs in part stem from the Christian Bible.

Some facts contradict, color or challenge the current use of the term:

1. The South is currently majority Baptist, with a significant amount of African-American adherents.

2. The Coastal Southeast to Florida has a low religious attendance among Protestant adherents, like the industrial Midwest. Protestant attendance is highest in a "Bible Strip" in from Texas through the Plains to the Dakotas.

3. Religious attendance is highest among Catholics, who often attend mass daily, and geographically, Christian attendance is highest on the Coasts, which are majority Catholic, and along the sunbelt, in cities like Boston, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.

This is simply not true. The Eastern and Western coasts are not majority Catholic, and "Christian attendance" is not "highest...along the sunbelt, in cities like Boston, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles" as the above anonymous author states. I cite Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America by David Hackett, which is one of the most respected contributions to understanding regional differences, including religion, in the United States. Also see Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush vs. Gore (Oxford History of the United States) by James T. Patterson. And see America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln by Mark A. Noll --Mcattell 15:44, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

4. The biggest change in 50 years in religious attendance is the significant drop in Protestant attendance in the industrial midwest and the Northeast. Because the Midwest is majority Protestant, there is still a significant number of active Protestant adherents attending church in the region. Because the Northeast (or West Coast) is majority Catholic, the diminished number of Protestants attending church has left the bicoastal regions without the large Protestant churches. This reduction in Protestant churches, relative to the rest of the country especially the South, has created an anomolous situation whereby the center of gravity of American Protestantism has moved to the middle and south, policitically and culturally cleaving these regions.

5. Finally, because Protestants put a bigger emphasis on personal Bible instruction away from any Priestly class, it might be said that Protestantism is more associated with the term Bible Belt or the nasty, "Bible Thumpers", than is Catholicism. If attendance were the key context for this term, then in truth, the "Church Buckles" of Boston, New York, Miami, and LA would be America's centers of religious adherants and attendance. But since the term is used to describe a religious people with a strong association with bible literalism, with a deep connection to the South and rural plains, and with social and political beliefs that agnostics negatively compare to provincialism and anti-intellectualism, its use is widespread. In reaction or revenge, the more rabid citizens of the Bible belt have developed negative stereotypes of the coasts and urban areas, which they wrongly describe as godless, decadent, or centers of criminality. In truth, the two coasts are just as religious (because of their majority Catholic population) and quite wealthy and civil.

This new section (apparently anonymous) is certainly very valuable and thought provoking. However, it seems to need a certain amount of editing to ensure compliance with Wikistyle and NPOV. I'll try to work on it when I can. However, some seems a little ambiguous/indecipherable. Maybe the author could provide some clarifications/expansions. ~ Dpr 02:52, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree. The section needs cleaning up and wikifying. It appears this addition is the first time Baptists are mentioned on this page at all, and there's still no direct mention of the Southern Baptist Convention which seems surprising as that church more than any other is responsible for the Bible Belt phenomenon. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 23:18, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, regarding Catholicism in the US...only a tiny, tiny minority of Catholics attends daily Mass, so much so that even without statistics easily accesible (for me), I am willing to wager that the number is so small that it (as an independent factor) does not have a notable impact on cross-denominational statistics (sadly so IMHO). ~ Dpr 02:04, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

(comment removed, per WP:NOT, wikipedia is not a forum, and article talk pages are to discuss improvements to the article, they are not to be used to talk about the article subject, or soap-box in regards to the article subject.— dαlus Contribs 02:30, 2 February 2009 (UTC))

Fundamentalism[edit]

"The accuracy of this expanded schema, however, rests on the question of whether demographic proportion of evangelical Christians (or "fundamentalist Christians")" - This needs to be changed. the terms evangelical and fundamentalist are not synonymous and interchangable. HybridFusion 02:53, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Maps[edit]

---ummm, i'm not like anybody who knows how to work the software here, or how to edit maps, but that map of the csa is inaccurate. west virginia actively broke off from the csa, missouri and kentucky played both sides off each other rather than commit to one, and the new mexico and arizona territories were held at different points by the union and by the confederacy. just thought i'd point that out...

a suggestion-the csa map serves no purpose in this article..there is not even any link to the text. i would recommend deletion gunslotsofguns 21:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Picture[edit]

Somebody please provide some Bible belt pictures. I wish I took some photos last time I went down there. A picture of one of the "-God" billboards would be ideal, or something else along those lines, or anything else showing that sort of evangelical Christian kitsch in the public arena. 24.215.155.9 04:27, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Why does "evangelical Christian kitsch" represent the Bible Belt and its tens of millions of sincere belivers? You may find their faith irrational, or dislike the politics of the area, but how does that make a picture of "kitsch" representative of this article? Wouldn't a photgraph of worshippers in a Bible Belt church be more approriate and neutral?--Mcattell 15:53, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Relax. It's entirely possible for something to be "sincere" to Fundamentalists and "kitsch" to outside observers. In fact, in the example he gave (the billboards) I'd say it's not only possible but obviously so. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. And, if anything, wouldn't you say the outside/objective point of view is more neutral? Besides, the user didn't even use the term in the article. This is the talk section.71.115.5.82 04:49, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Unfair assessment?[edit]

I am disturbed by the rather uncharitable assessment of an entire demographic that I am seeing here. The notion that adhering to a literal interpretation of Scripture is "uncritical" or in any other way negative presents not only an unfair stereotype, but also a personal bias on the part of the authors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

How is literal interpretation anything BUT uncritical? It's uncritical by its very definition. I think most Fundamentalists would acknowledge this, and even take pride in it. Not unfair at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Rural Southern Ontario a bible belt???[edit]

It seems some Canadians have such a low self-esteem that they want to see the word "Canada" mentioned in every article possible. It seems for example that some people refer to any rural farming area in Canada as a "bible belt". I have spent time in the south of the USA and I have lived in rural Ontario, and I can honestly say, how in the world is rural southern Ontario inlcuded in this? Is this the work of a Torontonian who thinks anyone who does not live in Toronto is a hick ? The only people who objected to the teaching of evolution when i was going to school were a couple of jehova witness's. There is no bible belt there. For a bible belt go to the south of the USA. What about germany's bible belt in Bavaria, what about Pennsylvania's bible belt? What about California's bible belt and what about New england's bible belt and Slovakia's. We could start finding bible belts in lots of areas if we are gonna count rural southern ontario. Stettlerj 20:39, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


According to StatsCan 2% of Alberta is Baptist and 23% has no religion (compare with Newfoundland, 2.5% have no religion)

Take a drive through many of the smaller communities. You'd be amazed once you get an hour outside of Toronto (which is anything but a bible belt)...also many of those areas in the states mentioned would qualify as mini-Bible Belts themselves... CrazyC83 02:28, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. The Bible Belt is a term that specifically refers to a certain area in the USA. Although some areas of California for example may have higher rates of church attendance, it is not what one refers to when one says the "bible belt". As for rural Ontario, I am not so sure what I would see one hour out of Toronto. There is Collingwood, Orangeville, even a town like Wingham, etc...they are not Bible belts. They are rural yes, culturally diverse, not really, are there churches yes, do they have a higher percentage of religious people than Toronto, I doubt it, and the churches that are there, if one would go in them on sunday, you will be surprised that you will probably see mostly old people. Go to Georgia - and these rural ontarians will have as much culture shock as any torontonian. Stettlerj 04:34, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, compared to a "post-modern" city like Quebec City, Toronto is a bible belt (there are some mega-churches in Toronto, this does not exist in Montréal or Québec City), if one wants to define a bible belt by using post-quiet revolution Quebec as a barometer (instead of Toronto) for example. Anyway, I think we must stick to the traditional definition for these reasons, otherwise what is or is not a bible belt is very relative. Stettlerj.

I would also like to add my .02. I see the Fraser Valley is mentioned as a Canadian Bible Belt, though there are no sources. As the Fraser Valley is home to the majority of B.C.'s population (something like 3 million of B.C's 4 million), it would make sense that there is "higher than normal" church going population. As well, I would go so far to suggest, that Christianianty(sp?) is NOT the dominate religion here, as there are very large East Indian and Chinese Populations, as well as(probably the vast majority) those who do not go to church at all. Also, I notice that compared to the rest of Canada, B.C. would probably be the least conservative province that I've lived in. I'm quite sure the cities in "bible belts" don't paint bus shelters purple, and place Rainbow flags throughout, honouring gay communities. - Random Reader who lives in the Fraser Valley.


I believe that there are parts of Rural Southern Ontario that can be declared part of the bible belt. I.E. From Oxford County following the highway 8 east towards Hamilton. Due to a high population of devout christians in Oxford and Waterloo Counties, To Hamilton region which hosts Battle Cry, is home is MacDIV and Redeemer University College clearly worth consdering this area as a bible belt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Big changes[edit]

I made some big changes to this article. Mostly in the form of deletions. There was a lot of uncited, probable OR. --Elliskev 13:23, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I see that some of my changes were undone. I have no problem with any of them except: I don't see the need for,or the relevance of, the map of the CSA. It seems to beg a question. --Elliskev 00:52, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Good point: I deleted the map. Rjensen 00:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Bible belts outside the USA[edit]

I have added a section on the UK to the list of other countries. It might be sensible for someone to reformat this entire article to provide a better structure for non-USA bible belts. My entry is based on personal memory of recent writings in the UK Christian press that have labelled both the areas specified as bible belts, supported by my own knowledge of UK christian demography. As such, I am sure that what I have written is accurate and authoritative. I cannot provide any hard references at this time, but also note a lack of references for other non-USA bible belts. DaveDave 14:45, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I've lived in the UK all my life and never once heard of any areas in it being described as a bible belt (I even live in Brighton which would fall into the second category). In a yougov poll on 44% of English citizens believe in God (and not all of those are Christian). I think referring to any part of the UK as a bible belt is misleading. Speedything 10:24, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate your point. I have reworded the caveat I included to make it clearer that these areas do not fit the strict definition of Bible Belt, so this should reduce the scope for confusion. However, I do feel that their inclusion here is worthwhile.'


Where is that information from? According to The Economist, in an article published a few weeks ago (http://economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_SJQSVTS), the most Christian areas are the Merseyside and London. — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

Mount Roskill as NZ's Bible Belt?[edit]

Mt Roskill might have more churches per capita than anywhere else (though I can't find any source for that...) but I have to say it is a stretch to call it NZ's bible belt when we have more muslims than any where else. Not sure how this discussion bit works but thats my two cents.


Northern Ireland[edit]

Rephrased the chunk on Ian Paisley. "Notoriously extreme" is a notoriously extreme form of POV. 91.84.35.34 17:39, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Louisiana is NOT in the bible belt!![edit]

Ok, this definitition of the Bible Belt refers to areas where right-wing evangelical protestantism is the norm. Louisiana is 60% Catholic! Not just the area around New Orleans, but at least the majority of the state probably within 50-100 miles of the Arkansas border. Aside from that, some areas have a substantial Jewish population that also detracts from the uber-protestants.

Louisiana defenitely needs to be taken off this list. We share neither the religious affiliations nor the need to legislate faulty morality that is inherent in the true Bible Belt.

I suppose you could classify it as I was told it is referred to by some states in the Bible Belt as the 'Bible Crotch' -- that sometimes naughty area just below the bible belt. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.187.106.1 (talk) 19:59, 15 February 2007 (UTC).

Louisiana is 31% Catholic and less than 1% Jewish. See [1] Rjensen 01:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Tall Tales of The Bible Belt

Another edition of "Tall Tales of The Bible Belt" has been released. This one's the 29th edition and contains a good baker's dozen tales devoted to a variety of subjects. Chief among them the child evangelist Billy Bible who at the age of seven had saved three thousand souls, the many farmers who grew vegetables big as houses, so they rented them out. And we rejoiced at learning about a talking rabbit who travels the Appalachian Trail preaching the gospel in small country churches, possums who read your fortune, singing bears, the ghost of Elvis Presley attending Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Bibles giving birth to children and rabbits, an assortment of lamb's tales, cow's tales, pig tales. Farm animals possessed of gifts to spread the gospel.


The Evangelical Spectator particularly enjoyed the one about the church offering plate that floated around the sanctuary of the First Methodist church in Blountville, Tennessee. The offering plate would hover above the congregation and dip to allow tithing. The plate would spin after each contribution and whisper its gratitude. As well, we enjoyed the splendid episodes about the Devil. The Devil Bakes A Cake, The Devil and His Chain of Barbecue Rib Restaurants, and The Devil Sings On The Radio.


The Evangelical Spectator http://evangelicalspectator.typepad.com/ Ernest Slyman Erslyman 23:50, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

FYI please see religion in Louisiana.

It is more accurately stated that northern Louisiana is strongly part of the Bible Belt and southern Louisiana is most decidedly not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.95.0.14 (talk) 01:59, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Bible Belt's Outside the US[edit]

This section needs some citations soon or else should be deleted. At present it is at best misleading and at worst complete rubbish. A bible belt suggests to most people an area where the overwhelming majority of the population are Christian Evangelical Protestants. I can't speak for all countries on the list but I can say that this definition doesn't apply to a single area of England. If this list is unverifiable it should be deleted. I leave this open to discussion for now but unless someone can provide a good reason for its inclusion I'll propose to delete it. Speedything 12:07, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

It's been a week now and there's been no response so I'm gonna guess it's probably ok to remove this section. I won't do it just yet but in another week I'll remove unless someone says otherewise Speedything 11:08, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Removing it now Speedything 10:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it should stay for a while longer. Seems reasonably correct. and i'll add some links to keep Speedything happy Rjensen 15:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

That's cool with me as it now has citations Speedything 18:15, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

What the Hell?[edit]

Since when are Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana part of the Bible Belt? In addition to the fact that all four are Northern states, Maryland is furthermore one of the most liberal states in the country and Pennsylvania has voted Democratic since 1992. This is ridiculous.

Maybe so, maybe not. The Amish are quite visible in Pennsylvania and Ohio. "Bible Belt" is a term applied to religious and cultural geography, not necessarily in every case to election behaviors, which are subject to a number of variables. Additionally, at the time when H.L. Mencken, a virulent opponent of socialistic endeavors, coined the term "Bible Belt," the states involved were overwhelmingly Democratic, as many of them still are in large measure at the local level. Further, Mencken intended the term to be pejorative (or at least humorous), but its current meaning is possibly more casual or, in context, even flattering. Finally, the Roman Catholics in "Bible Belt" areas are possibly if not likely more politically conservative than their Protestant neighbors. But I agree that the phrase becomes less useful as a term of shorthand if it bleeds into every nook and cranny of the map. Richard David Ramsey 00:11, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Informal Term and tone of article[edit]

Living in small town Oklahoma, the term Bible Belt comes up very very often. I personally have only heard Bible Belt used as a strictly informal term in the vein of Tornado Alley and Corn Belt, and never as an empirical list of states or regions, or an otherwise formally designated area. I have modified the article's tone in the first few paragraphs to reflect this somewhat.

If the term Bible Belt has no verifiable boundaries, I don't see how there can be a rigidly defined list of states, or, even more humorously, a list that purports to know partially bounded states. Bantosh 21:22, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Bible Belt is as well defined as any term in social science and has been widely accepted by scholars. It is much more than an informal local term. Rjensen 22:03, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Kansas[edit]

Why is only a tiny portion of Kansas colored in on the map? If we are to define "Bible Belt" as a region of strong conservative Protestant influence, I think you could color in all of Kansas, as well as Nebraska and the Dakotas. I'm not sure it's appropriate to only focus on areas in which the Southern Baptist Convention is dominant; by no means is it the only theologically conservative Protestant denomination. Funnyhat 23:07, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Although evangelical/fundamentalist influence is spreading throughout the U.S., tbe Midwest (including Kansas and the other states you mention) is still more defined by Catholicism and Mainline Protestantism than the Fundamentalist denominations that dominate in the South.71.115.5.82 04:40, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the Dakotas have well crossed the line of Church/State separation with their recent anti-abortion and anti-gay legislation, and should be included along with Kansas (anti- evolution, abortion and gay rights legislation) as being part of the US Bible Belt. I'd highly doubt that the majority opinion on the issue would place Kansas and the Dakotas outside the Bible Belt.

This is stupid. Kansas has stopped allowing evolution to be taught in it's schools, added an amendment to it's constitution to not allow gay marriage, has the 4th highest church going rate, etc... It's more of a bible belt state than missouri ever was. Not to mention that Kansas is highly against stem cell research whereas Missouri voted heavily in favor of it. Who wrote this article???? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.185.204.191 (talk) 21:10, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Based on opinion and politics, not facts[edit]

This article appears to be based more on unfavorable opinion of the South than on anything related to actual fact. Perhaps there is a better forum for such things?

As evidence:

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/religion/adherents.gif

Share and Enjoy. Mmwilhelm 12:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Bible Belts in the UK[edit]

There seems to be quite a bit of discussion disputing the existence of 'Bible Belts' in certain countries, and indeed of the extent of the US Bible Belt. It seems to me that some of these are perhaps 'wishful thinking' on the part of people anxious to show that the Christian faith is very strong in their country or region. I would suggest that unless an area is actually widely referred to as a 'Bible Belt' it should not be on this list.

As far as the UK is concerned, I have to agree with 'Speedything's' comments. I don't know London or East Anglia particularly well, but within the UK neither has a reputation for being particularly religious, and the 'evidence' referred to is a completely irrelevant article about the links between a politician and a controversial (and relatively small) church in Essex which provides no evidence whatsoever of that part of England being more religious than anywhere else. As a Scot I have never, ever, heard of the Inverness area being described as Scotland's 'Bible Belt', and it does not even have a reputation for being any more religious than elsewhere. Again, the supposed evidence is minimal - the article cited puts a great deal of positive 'spin' on some pretty unremarkable figures. If congregations are increasing it is hardly surprising when you consider that Inverness is one of the fastest growing settlements in Scotland. I agree that the Western Isles and parts of the West Highlands (the areas where the Free Presbyterians are in the majority) have a reputation for being unusually religious by the standards of the UK, and although I've never heard the term used perhaps it could be called a 'Bible Belt'. Other than that, I would be inclined to delete all reference to England or Scotland having a 'Bible Belt'. The fact is that on the whole, while 3/4 of Britons classify themselves as Christian (see Demography of the United Kingdom article), the UK is fairly secular, and apart from the 'Wee Free' areas there is nowhere that is known for being strongly religious (Kbathgate 20:56, 8 October 2007 (UTC)).

No response, so I'm deleting reference to Bible Belts in Great Britain for the reasons above. If the term is ever used to refer to any area in Britain (even the 'Wee Free' areas) it is done in jest. (Kbathgate 21:37, 24 October 2007 (UTC))

I've deleted a reference to 'concentrations of evangelicals' in Scotland, as this was not relevant to the article. The article is about Bible Belts, which implies something more significant than just the fact that there are a number of people of a particular faith or denomination living somewhere. The Glasgow / Strathclyde area is home to about half of Scotland's population, so it is not surprising that a fair proportion of Scotland's evangelicals live there. Strathclyde is also home to a large proportion of Scotland's Muslims - but that doesn't make it a 'Koran Belt'. To qualify as a 'Bible Belt', surely there has to be some evidence of levels of religious observance being extremely high and of majority religious beliefs having a particularly strong influence within wider society. With the possible exception of the Western Isles (anyone local have a view?) this is not the case anywhere in Scotland, which as all the evidence shows is largely secular. Kbathgate (talk) 20:46, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

What about the Mideast?[edit]

This article doesn't talk about contrast with the Mideast part of America and how the Mideast is quite secular as well as the Midwest. I don't think the article points out the when people hear "midwest," they think Middle America. The whole western coast is pretty secular. I also don't see in the article the negative connotations of the term "Bible belt." When one talks about the Bible belt, they're usually not talking about it in a very positive light. ForestAngel (talk) 06:33, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

"Bible-Belt" Image[edit]

The original image of Baptists in the US that the article's image is based on is suspect to me. The image is 8 years old, and seems nearly impossible. I've lived in Texas spending most of my life in two areas: Dallas and Austin. There is a stark contrast between the two cities. Dallas is every bit the "Bible Belt" city whereas Austin is extremely liberal and culturally diverse (this seems to be reflected by the image). What doesn't make sense is the percentage of the population claimed to be Baptist. Texas is 48% Hispanic (US Census), a demographic that usually identifies itself as Catholic, but invariably votes more liberal. The point is that this image indicates what seem to be nearly impossible levels of Baptists. I could be way off base, but the percentages seem to defy common sense. Probably fewer than 5-10% of people I know are Baptist, and this is not because I am removed from the Baptist culture. My grandparents and great-grandparents were/are Baptist.

The article makes no mention of other religions. In my experience, Texas, despite its status as a "Bible Belt" state, has a large portion of Asian-Americans who preserve their original faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Additionally, South-central and West Texas is home to many people who believe in alternative faiths such as Wicca and various forms of Magick and the New Age.

These are just my personal observations, but it seems that the image needs to be based on better data. It should focus on all right-leaning faiths, and the data about Baptists should be investigated further. I guess if I lived in the deeper south, I would observe differently.

Besides, isn't the term "Bible Belt" just an aphorism? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dewelch86 (talkcontribs) 03:46, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Reversion[edit]

I've just reverted a recent edit by someone at 67.201.136.122. It wasn't vandalism or ill-intentioned. But it wasn't helpful, being full of spelling mistakes and splitting a sentence listing regions into two broken fragments. More importantly it didn't seem to enhance the article and in fact misrepresented or contradicted the core of the article. By asserting that S Alberta, S Saskatchewan and S Manitoba could be regarded as an extension of the Bible Belt in America, the edit implicitly added 4 states which the article regards as outside the Belt (Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas), and in fact names those states.

I think the article is better without the change. But I want to mention it in case someone else sees some value in what I've reverted. (The only other element of the reverted edit was a statement that "religon in this area tends to be diverse". Apart from being vague, diversity of religion is, according to our article, what keeps those Great Plains states, along with the rest of the Mid West, out of the Bible Belt in the first place. If the Canadian regions are accurately characterised that way then perhaps we need to say that, or even remove them from the article. Klippa (talk) 08:40, 22 February 2008 (UTC)--

Norway[edit]

I have removed the reference conserning the Bible Belt in Norway as the statement given was prejudice, untrue and based on one single person's experience. I will be looking for a better reference. --88.90.211.203 (talk) 14:11, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Nothern Norway
The bible belt of norway is mostly in the southern and north-western part. The graphic included in the article shows far more christian-dominated parts than what's really there Rkarlsba (talk) 22:26, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Strong?[edit]

Are the Church of Christ and Assemblies of God particularly strong in this region or are they just random examples? 165.21.155.15 (talk) 00:34, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

They is pretty dang strong here in the South. In Arkansas, for example, 6% of people are affiliated with the Church of Christ and 3% with the Assemblies of God, the highest rates in the country. Aisteach (talk) 14:57, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Some trouble with these definitions[edit]

This does not seem to be very accurate in terms of actual religious adherence. In fact, it's not even very accurate about...anything. WTF are Virginia or North Carolina doing in the Bible belt??? And what about Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota? They have much more reason to be mentioned here than do Austin, TX or Atlanta. Aisteach (talk) 14:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Bible and divorce belt?[edit]

The article has nothing, about the criminal or divorce rates in "Bible belt".In all latin America, pentecostals have worse living standards, than catholics or any other religious group, with importance.The american site http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm and other another american site: http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=10961 both show that "bible belt" is also a "divorce belt".In fact, if you go Google or Yahoo and write the three words Bible Belt Divorce , you will see hundreds of sites showing this fact.Agre22 (talk) 20:19, 13 June 2008 (UTC)agre22

In fact, the american site http://community-2.webtv.net/tales_of_the_western_world/BIBLEBELT/ claims that "Bible Belt" is also, the "sexual belt" and "AIDS belt" of United States. Agre22 (talk) 20:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)Agre22

  • I don't quite see your point in spewing left-wing propaganda that has no place on Wikipedia. The Bible Belt has a higher divorce rate, sure, but also a higher marriage rate. In fact, in terms of divorces vs. marriages, religious Arkansas kicks secular Oregon's butt. STD rates are higher in the Bible belt ... well, who'd think otherwise ... whether more teens are abstinent or not, the STD rate is bound to be higher wherever contraception is not available. And about unmarried cohabitation. It may be rising more steadily in Arkansas and Tennessee than any other state, but it is still well below U.S. average in both states. I advise you stop reading websites sponsored by the extreme left and begin hearing the truth. Aisteach (talk) 14:57, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Seriously? You don't like somebody else's statistics, so you accuse them of being untrue by citing some related statistics? Also, I have to question how related those statistics are. If some people choose not to marry, or marry only after they know who they want to marry, then that's different from the areas in which people are pressured into marriages they don't want. Also, why does the absence of contraception serve as a 'justification' of the high rate of STDs in the area? If anything, it seems like something they're doing to themselves. I recommend you start thinking about whether your 'justifications' really count as justifications, or just further signs of a problem. And I'm saying this as someone from North Carolina, who has seen for myself what this place can be like. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.147.210.162 (talk) 21:28, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

If you don't believe me, here's something I found written by an expert on the subject: "Youth and lack of education can lead to higher divorce rates, said D'Vera Cohn, a senior writer with the Pew Research Center, who wrote a report on "The States of Marriage and Divorce." There's also an interactive map on the website.

"There tend to be higher divorce rates in states where women marry young," Cohn said. "Education also may play a role. In general, less educated women marry at younger ages than college-educated women, and less educated couples have higher divorce rates." In other words, that's the explanation that most experts give for the high rate of marriage, and not something you want to be proud of. Just like the lack of access to contraception is a problem, and not an excuse. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.147.210.162 (talk) 21:32, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Most churches per capita[edit]

The cities of Chattanooga, TN and Lubbock, TX are both credited with "Most churches per capita". Unless they are tied, this should be fixed. Beingzero (talk) 03:53, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

No conflict. Chattanooga, Tennessee, is cited as having "most churches per capita in the U.S." (bold added). Lubbock, however, has the "most churches per capita in the nation, presumably meaning the Republic of Texas. Richard David Ramsey 14:43, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
ahh, the previous statement is nonesense. Only is crazy separatist literature will you find people referring to the republic of texas as a 'nation.' It seems to me that there is a conflict here. 70.11.216.176 (talk) 22:13, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

UK[edit]

Like some others, I'm puzzled by the reference to Norfolk and Suffolk in this context. Certainly, in the past some parts of these counties were strongly non-conformist and this was reflected in a rather higher vote for the Liberals than was then common in rural constituencies in England. (The established Church of England was often nicknamed 'the Tory party at prayer'). However, since about 1950 Norfolk and Suffolk have lost this distinctiveness, and in any case even staunch non-conformism is not the same thing as the kind of Christianity one usually associates with the American Bible Belt.

It really does seem to me that this reference to Norfolk and Suffolk should be removed. Norvo (talk) 01:06, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Alaska[edit]

In the map accompanying this article, there is a large dot in Alaska which seems to represent an Alaskan bible belt, but no mention is made of it in the article. Can someone remedy this one way or another? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.216.36.97 (talk) 06:51, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

My image made it for 4 months, I'm impressed. Duff (talk) 18:06, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Removing the map[edit]

Unless there are substantive objections, I'm going to remove the map; it is based solely on the % of Baptists, which is part of, but not the same as, the def of the Bible Belt. 68.73.93.130 (talk) 18:31, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Map as “original research”[edit]

Missouri. Not only is St. Louis, a democratic catholic brewery city exception, but a large area of suburbs and exurbs around the city can't be considered part of the bible belt either. St. Charles is also very catholic. The bible belt likely stops on a line somewhere south of St. Louis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.130.144.103 (talk) 21:22, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


File:BibleBelt.png appears to be at best “original synthesis”, and at worst more fundamental “original research”, extrapolating in an original manner from the map cited in its notes. The Bible Belt isn't simply defined in terms of the presence of Baptists, but more generally in terms of the significance of socially conservative evangelical Protestantism. —SlamDiego←T 04:00, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

The map isn't original research. I've added sourced text about geographic studies that defined the Bible Belt as corresponding to the region where Baptists predominate. --Orlady (talk) 06:01, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
That's not an appropriate resolution. A researcher is free to redefine “Bible Belt” to mean the region where Baptists predominate, and if that research is notable then the article should note it. But the standard definition, and the one explicitly used by this article, is in more general terms. A map that notes concentrations of Baptists as such would be fine, but a map that purports to be of where socially conservative evangelical Protestantism has special significance should be just that, and if it appears in Wikipedia then it needs a “reliable” source to support it. So that map needs to be relabelled, better supported, or removed. —SlamDiego←T 03:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I replaced the map with the map from Religion in the United States. I replaced it for the very good reason that it had West Virginia labeled as 'Catholic', which is total nonsense. The replaced map did not accurately reflect the quoted support material, namely the ARIS survey, which shows WV as predominately Baptist at 30%. Dubyavee (talk) 03:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of the source, could a map which identifies the states be used? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.168.100.232 (talk) 01:51, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
This article fails to discuss further on the pejorative connotation of this usage, and why that came about..

Exceptions.[edit]

Why aren't exceptions in the US bible belt, like Austin, not mentioned? :S --24.27.21.34 (talk) 06:03, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

China[edit]

The source for the "China" section is a dead link on the website of Concerned Women for America, a socially conservative advocacy group. The neutrality and accuracy of this source are questionable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.208.60.214 (talk) 09:46, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Springfield, MO as "Buckle"?[edit]

I just moved to Springfield, MO. Everyone felt the need to give me a heads-up that it's the "Buckle of the Bible Belt" and I've heard the same from a handful of people in the area. I feel that this may have something to do with nearby Branson and the cultural values it supports, but other than that, just wanted to mention it for possible discussion, as Springfield is not listed as an attested buckle in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.30.103.97 (talk) 16:58, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Australia section[edit]

I have added a bunch of citation needed tags to the section on Australia. There was one citation for the section, but I have removed it as it was irrelevant. The headline of the article used the phrase 'bible belt', but that was the only use of the term, and the article didn't refer to any specific regions of Australia as being 'bible belts'. It seemed like it was only being used to refer to the religious in general in Australia, and this is not a term I have ever heard used in Australia. I have also removed a reference to suburbs 'east of Box Hill' in Melbourne being referred to as a bible belt, as I have lived in that area my whole life and never heard it. I am inclined to remove the whole section due to the lack of references, but the Melbourne sentence was the only one I could be sure is wrong. Perhaps someone else can find citations for some of the other mentioned places being bible belts. 118.209.162.158 (talk) 10:18, 2 October 2013 (UTC)