The North vs. The South

I took a walk to the library today to drop off some books that were due. On my way there I noticed a number of cars with what I’d class as atheistic bumper stickers on them.

The one that made me chuckle said “Religions are just cults with more members.”

Here in the northeast our dominant institutions are most definitely education and entertainment. Providence is the 2nd largest city in New England with a land mass of roughly 18 square miles.Yet we have Brown University, RISD, Johnson & Wales, Providence College, Rhode Island College (Providence and North Providence), URI, CCRI, and Roger Williams right in the city. For entertainment we’ve got something for everyone, from strip clubs, night clubs, 400+ bars, theaters, movie multiplexes, and fantastic libraries.

I think those items tend to displace religion, as evidenced by the rising number of atheists in this area. There’s no room for a god that cannot be proven in our lives.

That is the reality of living in the northeast.

Now we’ll contrast this with the south, namely my recent visit to North Carolina. As I said before we spent time in Pasquotank (Elizabeth City), Perquimans (Hertford) , Chowan (Edenton) and Tyrrel (Gum Neck) counties. It’s so spread out that you literally spend a lot of time driving.

And what you see while driving is a number of churches of varying protestant denominations. This is funny to someone who grew up in a Catholic dominated state. But the thing that really grabbed me were the open proclamations of faith.

Many vehicles sport what I term “Praise Jeebus!” type bumper stickers. In addition those “I’m in the Book – God” billboards are as ubiquitous as the NC Tourism billboards telling you that “Just around the corner feels like a million miles away.” Indeed, I felt like I was in another world

The big thing down there is to go to the sad little Southgate mall in Elizabeth City on a Friday night. Then of course on Sundays you go to church. Keyron and I were at a Golden Corral in Edenton and I’ve never seen so many people dressed to the nines for church! And Golden Corral isn’t all that.

There is a decided lack of culture where we were in North Carolina. The other thing I noticed is that here in the northeast you’ll get a Happy Holidays greeting, while in the south you’ll get a “Merry Christmas” from everyone. It took time for the northeast to lose it’s religion, hopefully the south will lose theirs soon enough.

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