Are there still parts of the country where Christian morality is the norm?


#1

There are profound political differences between, say, Vermont and Texas. And those states each also have very different rates of prayer, church attendance, etc. Vermont is really secular, and Texas is quite religious. And the sort of pro-life, pro-family legislation in Texas is considerably better than the opposite in Washington or New Jersey.

But here’s the question–are those differences primarily political and even superficial? In other words, are people in suburban Houston really that much holier and God-oriented than people in suburban Philly or New York or Boston or whatever?

I live in a place with many liberals, but also many conservatives, and I often feel jealous of those who live in states with strong pro-life laws. And I do believe that “culture of life” legislation does make the lives of citizens better. But is it really harder to live in places like Boston or D.C. for a passionately Catholic family than it is states that are known to be more religious and pro-life, pro-marriage?


#2

I think anywhere is going to be a mixture of both, some places leaning one way, some leaning the other.

I’ve only ever lived in the California Bay Area so I can’t compare it to other places, but I know its very secularized here.


#3

I am thankful to live in the Wichita, KS diocese, and in the state I do. There are attitudes and goings-on on either side of the traditional "liberal/conservative" dichotomy with which I disagree. I don't approve of everything our governor has done, but I wouldn't have the Dems in the statehouse either - we gave the country Sibelius of HHS-Mandate infamy, after all :( .

I'm not an NRA type (trust me, you don't want to give a grumpy menopausal woman a gun anyhow :p ). On the other side, my local friends posting pro-gay-marriage or "pro-choice" stuff on Facebook doesn't sit well with me either. :shrug: All in all, though, I could have it a lot worse in this imperfect world.


#4

[quote="Colorad007, post:1, topic:324313"]

But here's the question--are those differences primarily political and even superficial? In other words, are people in suburban Houston really that much holier and God-oriented than people in suburban Philly or New York or Boston or whatever?

I

[/quote]

Well, I happen to live in a suburb of Houston and used to live in a very blue state in the NE. I think there really is a difference that goes beyond the politics.

I wouldn't speculate on the holiness of any group of people but people in Texas are much more openly Christian. No one here would make fun of someone who goes to church every Sunday - or even Sunday AND Wednesday. I have teens and their friends, the non-Catholics, are very involved in thier churches and that's just fine with their peers and schools.

The community response to those in need is much more publicly evident here. Whether it's a hurricane, the victims of the West, TX explosion or support for the troops, there is a visible spirit of giving. That's not to say that NE people are not as charitable but it's more of a part of life here.


#5

Shhhhhhh, don't answer this question publicly! As soon as the cat's out of the bag that there does indeed exist a town far removed from the clutches of secular power you *know *the ACLU will be sending its representatives over there in a jiffy to show them the "errors" of their ways.

Best to privately PM - the best kept secrets are best precisely because they remain secret among like-minded individuals.;)

Just kidding, of course. . . . . .kind of. .. .. . . . . but not really:)


#6

[quote="Corki, post:4, topic:324313"]
Well, I happen to live in a suburb of Houston and used to live in a very blue state in the NE. I think there really is a difference that goes beyond the politics.

I wouldn't speculate on the holiness of any group of people but people in Texas are much more openly Christian. No one here would make fun of someone who goes to church every Sunday - or even Sunday AND Wednesday. I have teens and their friends, the non-Catholics, are very involved in thier churches and that's just fine with their peers and schools.

The community response to those in need is much more publicly evident here. Whether it's a hurricane, the victims of the West, TX explosion or support for the troops, there is a visible spirit of giving. That's not to say that NE people are not as charitable but it's more of a part of life here.

[/quote]

I know that religion is more of a common reality in, say, Texas. I'm sure that's because more people are church-goers. But if it's just a cultural thing without a real passion for Christ underlying it all, then it is, after all, just a cultural thing and not a genuine religious commitment. Here in Colorado there are probably fewer self-professed religious folks, but the ones that are religious are reallly religious. I don't know if that's true of the northeast or west coast. But the impression I've always gotten is that places especially in the south are, on the surface, quite religious (it is the Bible belt, after all), but it doesn't go much farther than skin deep.

I don't know if that's actually, though, thus the original question.


#7

:wink:


#8

I would like to know this too. People from the Midwest tell me that most people there are "religious but not saved." They go to church and read their Bibles, but they still act like heathens, especially in the area of sexual morality. If that's true all over the country, then there's no point in preferring one area over another.


#9

There are. The more rural, the more likely that Christian morality is the norm. I know of several such communities.

Peace,
Ed


#10

[quote="mathematoons, post:8, topic:324313"]
I would like to know this too. People from the Midwest tell me that most people there are "religious but not saved." They go to church and read their Bibles, but they still act like heathens, especially in the area of sexual morality. If that's true all over the country, then there's no point in preferring one area over another.

[/quote]

I've lived in the midwest, and I've heard the same thing about the south. My wife is from the Dayton-area, which isn't exceptionally religious, and we've lived in a small Indiana town with a major Christian college. My experience is that people are more likely to go to church on Sunday, but no less likely to go party and sin and Saturday night.

I honestly don't know what's better. Where I live, if you're in church on Sunday, it's more likely that you are the real deal. On the other hand, there are simply more people who never set foot inside a church. It's a lot harder to reach people who are that far away, whereas at least the hypocrites have one foot inside the door. But hypocrisy can be scandal and it is, of course, a serious moral problem.

I do wonder if it comes down to rural vs. urban, or if there actually are regional differences.


#11

[quote="Colorad007, post:10, topic:324313"]

I do wonder if it comes down to rural vs. urban, or if there actually are regional differences.

[/quote]

I don't think there is any serious question that there are regional differences, though there may be urban vs rural differences as well.

In some parts of the country, churchgoing is part of the culture. That doesn't necessarily translate to personal morality or holiness, but at least it's something better than complete indifference or outright cultural hostility.


#12

I don’t think so. The cafeteria “Catholics” are far more hostile to me than non-Christians. The latter often just think I’m off in my own religious world (until a sexual issue such as gay “marriage” comes up, and then they join with the former).


#13

Yes, I think the south has more church going people than any other part of the country. In the Northwest it is very secular in the big cities. When I visited St. Patrick's in New York the people at mass seemed more conservative than where I am from. :eek:


#14

[quote="onmyknees, post:13, topic:324313"]
Yes, I think the south has more church going people than any other part of the country. In the Northwest it is very secular in the big cities. When I visited St. Patrick's in New York the people at mass seemed more conservative than where I am from. :eek:

[/quote]

That's kind of my point, though. New York is a very liberal city. It would be really easy to let yourself get carried away into the secular, liberal current. So if you are going to live a deeply Catholic life, then you've got to actually make a firm commitment to do so. Sometimes the most passionate, conservative Catholics in the world live in the some of the most secular, liberal cities.


#15

[quote="Colorad007, post:14, topic:324313"]
That's kind of my point, though. New York is a very liberal city. It would be really easy to let yourself get carried away into the secular, liberal current. So if you are going to live a deeply Catholic life, then you've got to actually make a firm commitment to do so. Sometimes the most passionate, conservative Catholics in the world live in the some of the most secular, liberal cities.

[/quote]

That sounds good in theory, but I live in a very liberal area, and I have yet to find a Catholic, aside from me, my mother, and my priest, who actually believes all the Church teachings (every Catholic I have met, and I have met many, admits to disbelieving one or more fundamental teachings).

When all is said and done, there is little difference between a cafeteria "Catholic" and a heathen. Both have turned their backs on God. It follows that there is little difference between a half-heartedly Catholic culture and a heathen culture.

A real Catholic culture may very well not exist anywhere in countries of European origin (that is, Europe, the Americas, Australia/New Zealand, etc.) in this day and age. They say Africa and Asia are becoming more Catholic, though.


#16

[quote="mathematoons, post:15, topic:324313"]
That sounds good in theory, but I live in a very liberal area, and I have yet to find a Catholic, aside from me, my mother, and my priest, who actually believes all the Church teachings (every Catholic I have met, and I have met many, admits to disbelieving one or more fundamental teachings).

When all is said and done, there is little difference between a cafeteria "Catholic" and a heathen. Both have turned their backs on God. It follows that there is little difference between a half-heartedly Catholic culture and a heathen culture.

A real Catholic culture may very well not exist anywhere in countries of European origin (that is, Europe, the Americas, Australia/New Zealand, etc.) in this day and age. They say Africa and Asia are becoming more Catholic, though.

[/quote]

Mathematoons, It does seem that there are not any Catholics who believe all the teachings of the Church but I know there are a few who do believe all of the teachings. You will find them at the church/mass that has a more traditional priest and in groups at the parish like The Legion of Mary.


#17

[quote="onmyknees, post:16, topic:324313"]
Mathematoons, It does seem that there are not any Catholics who believe all the teachings of the Church but I know there are a few who do believe all of the teachings. You will find them at the church/mass that has a more traditional priest and in groups at the parish like The Legion of Mary.

[/quote]

I tried that. I didn't even find them there. I think the remaining ones have simply given up trying to find like-minded people. And they're right to do so. When we spend years on the same problem with no success, it means we're going against God's will. God decided where and when each of us should live, and of that place and time has no real Catholics, then that's what God wants.

It's OK, you don't need to try to comfort me. I need to be purged of a few more inordinate passions from before my conversion before I can make friends. Your pity actually makes me feel worse, not better.


#18

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