Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

Want To Decrease Your Well Being? Come Live In The Bible Belt

133 Comments

I should know.  Currently I live in the most religious, conservative state in the Union.  Mississippi has been ranked last in nearly every category of well being.

From Psychology Today — Secular Societies Fare Better Than Religious Societies

bible belt image“Consider, for instance, the latest special report just put out by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which lists the ten states with the worst/best quality of life. According to this multivariate analysis which takes into account a plethora of indicators of societal well-being, those states in America with the worst quality of life tend to be among the most God-loving/most religious (such as Mississippi and Alabama), while those states with the best quality of life tend to be among the least God-loving/least religious (such as Vermont and New Hampshire).

…the more secular tend to fare better than the more religious on a vast host of measures, including homicide and violent crime rates, poverty rates, obesity and diabetes rates, child abuse rates, educational attainment levels, income levels, unemployment rates, rates of sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy, etc.

On nearly every sociological measure of well-being, you’re most likely to find the more secular states with the lowest levels of faith in God and the lowest rates of church attendance faring the best and the most religious states with the highest levels of faith in God and rates of church attendance faring the worst.”

Here is a breakdown with some of the findings from the OECD report:

Why the South is the worst place to live in the U.S. — in 10 charts

So the next time you get a knock on your door from people wanting to share the “good news”, ask them why anyone in their right mind would want to voluntarily invite dysfunction into their life.

bible belt 2

Photo credit: Imugr.com — Image taken 2015.


 

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Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

133 thoughts on “Want To Decrease Your Well Being? Come Live In The Bible Belt

  1. It’s also the human trafficking belt – just another to add to your map.

    Of course, the reason for that is, that because the south is the most religious, all these low life’s move here to take advantage of all that generosity. :/sarcasm(in case anyone couldn’t tell)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sadly, such “facts” don’t seem to penetrate the religious mindset. It’s like how they respond to Obamacare, with disdain, despite being the people who most desperately need it.

    It simply doesn’t make sense… It’s like talking to Colorstorm: an embodiment of delusional contradiction.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Yikes! So does the religion breed the ignorance that causes the problems or do the problems make people desperate for easy answers in religion?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. If we plant explosives around the perimeter of the babble belt we could, in theory, blow it loose from the rest of the civilized world. Then, we could set it adrift in the Atlantic, send a boat to save you and yours, Victoria, and, finally, drill a big ass hole in the middle of the bloody thing. This would cause it to sink to the bottom of the ocean and take its place next to the Titanic as yet another big pompous dream that simply could not stay afloat due its own arrogance and narcissistic pride.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, Jeff, while children are experiencing extreme poverty here, what are their lawmakers busy doing? The Mississippi House passed HB 132, dubbed the “Jesus Take the Wheel Act”

      Oh yes indeed. Church people who drive passenger buses up to 30 people no longer have to get a commercial drivers license (CDL). This would include buses transporting young children. That’s right — they’ve got Jesus looking out for ’em.

      Liked by 3 people

      • The outrage such things make me feel is indescribable. As well, the bullshit the Republicans are doing is sickening. Absolutely evil incarnate. My great paradox as an atheist is that, while I don’t believe in Satan, I can see no other reason for the existence of Republicans than that they were created by him to do his work on earth. Republicans suck big, fat, hairy, elephant butt!

        Liked by 2 people

        • They are full of fear and are fear mongers. The neurological studies keep mounting — two more this past month. If you are politically conservative you are more likely to be a fearful person. Now, add religion that promotes hell, condones discrimination/inequality, and glorifies poverty, and you have a lethal combination.

          The Surprising Brain Differences Between Democrats and Republicans
          Two new studies further support the theory that our political decision making could have a neurological basis.

          In the American Journal of Political Science, a team of researchers including Peter Hatemi of Penn State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University studied the relationship between our deep-seated tendencies to experience fear—tendencies that vary from person to person, partly for reasons that seem rooted in our genes—and our political beliefs.

          What they found is that people who have more fearful disposition also tend to be more politically conservative, and less tolerant of immigrants and people of races different from their own. As McDermott carefully emphasizes, that does not mean that every conservative has a high fear disposition. It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative.”

          Liked by 4 people

          • Great stuff. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but Chris Mooney’s book The Republican Brain is quite excellent and delves into the neurological differences in the brain make-up of f*ck-wads, i.e. Republicans, and normal humans, i.e. you and me. If you’ve not read it, check it out. I think you’d like it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Indeed, Jeff. I’ve listened to a few of his lectures, and read several excerpts from that book, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Interestingly, I’ve considered writing a book on the differences I’ve seen/experienced in those who lean conservative as opposed to the more liberal-thinkers. From my experiences, there really does seem to be a major difference in not only their thinking, but their emotional side. That is, they are much more inclined to get mad, upset, angry at those who disagree with them. Rather than reason things out, it tends to turn into a shouting match.

              The problem I’ve come up against is any information I’ve found tends to be fairly “scientific.” Not my cup of tea. Too bad we don’t live closer, Victoria, so you could help me decipher stuff. 😉

              In any case, I do intend to check out Mooney’s book.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! Let’s not start with South Africa! 😆 The minute someone here knows you’re not religious, they start avoiding you. I like that. 😀
    Now just imagine people from there moving over here, if they haven’t already. 😆

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The money quote:

    “Do societies fall apart when they become more secular? Clearly not.”

    But why should reality have any say in the matter?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. strange things really. maybe such people will be happy in the next life so temporal happiness here is of no consequence

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a fantastic photo, V. Reminds me of the days when I was in charge of the church sign. Once, I used the X-Files tagline “The truth is out there.” I was taken aside and scolded by one of the deacons. He said I should have gone with “The truth is IN HERE.”

    (One of the many reasons, incidentally, I’m no longer involved in church work…)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. From the Psychology Today link in the OP:

    “The Save the Children Foundation publishes an annual “Mother’s Index,” wherein they rank the best and worst places on earth in which to be a mother. And the best are almost always among the most secular nations on earth, while the worst are among the most devout. The non-profit organization called Vision of Humanity publishes an annual “Global Peace Index.” And according to their rankings, the most peaceful nations on earth are almost all among the most secular, while the least peaceful are almost all among the most religious. According to the United Nations 2011 Global Study on Homicide, of the top-10 nations with the highest intentional homicide rates, all are very religious/theistic nations, but of those at bottom of the list – the nations on earth with the lowest homicide rates — nearly all are very secular nations.”

    Note: the author lists the 2011 homicide study. Here’s a list of the top 20 nations with the highest intentional homicide rates from the UN 2014 Global Study. So I researched each individual country to see what their predominant religion was. Here’s what I found:

    1. Honduras — predominant religion — Christianity

    2. Venezuela — predominant religion — Christianity

    3. Jamaica — predominant religion — Christianity

    4. Belize — predominant religion — Christianity

    5. Columbia — predominant religion — Christianity

    6. El Salvador — predominant religion — Christianity

    7. Guatemala — predominant religion — Christianity

    8. Lesotho —- predominant religion —- Christianity

    9. South Africa — predominant religion — Christianity

    10. Trinidad and Tobago — predominant religion — Christianity

    11. Bahamas — predominant religion — Christianity

    12. Haiti — predominant religion —- Christianity

    13. Dominican Republic — predominant religion —- Christianity

    14. Mexico — predominant religion —- Christianity

    15. Guyana — predominant religion —- Christianity

    16. Namibia — predominant religion —- Christianity

    17. Swaziland — predominant religion — Christianity

    18. Panama — predominant religion —- Christianity

    19. Iraq — predominant religion —- Islam

    20. Zimbabwe —- predominant religion — Christianity

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Damn it! I was hoping the DFW area was just on the outside of that pool of red… maybe just our pinky-toe being “colored”! :/ :p

    Liked by 2 people

    • Professor, was that sarcasm or just wishful thinking? 😉

      Dallas / Forth Worth is located in the “Bible Belt.” Also, since DFW is located in the “Bible Belt,” many of the local communities are “dry” (serve no alcohol), produce large Baptist churches, cars have fish emblems on their trunks, and numerous “Bible” Christian radio stations are to be found on the radio and television dial.”

      http://www.metroplexdaily.com/tips-metrointro.asp

      Is it still the case where teachers are banned from teaching critical thinking skills because it “challenges a student’s “fixed beliefs” and undermines “parental authority”? But want you (as a teacher) to support “school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles”?

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/texas-gop-rejects-critical-thinking-skills-really/2012/07/08/gJQAHNpFXW_blog.html

      Liked by 3 people

      • It was extreme sarcastic wishful thinking! 😉

        Yep, that’s all pretty spot-on Victoria. I could write a 5,000 word post on what you speak — I actually have in a few different posts — but I’ll spare you and anyone else here. Stephen Colbert’s parody on the 2012 Texas GOP platform and State Board of Education The Word – On the Straight & Narrow-Minded helps calm and rebalance me. I watch it repeatedly to maintain my sanity. 😛

        Like me, I take it you have no desire to return to the Dark Ages either…when witches were hunted and burned at the stake, the unexplained was black or white, or in other words a miracle of the Lord or the work of the Devil!? And if you think outside-the-box like Renaissance mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus did in 1532 CE, you could lose EVERYTHING and be completely ostracized… what’s not to like about all that!? 😮

        Naw, put your spurs on, come to Texas! See what all the “rave” is about! LOL 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  11. This is of course interesting, and one of the reasons to consider a secular outlook. In the end, what is more important than whether an area is or more religious or less religious is what the socioeconomic outlook of the area. But we also know that folks who have higher education, and also higher income is more likely to be nonreligious, so it is a question as to what comes first.

    Liked by 2 people

    • People who experience hardship tend to turn to religion for hope. Missionaries are most successful when people are vulnerable, such as in war-torn countries, and regions plagued by famine. These conditions make it more likely for a population to be controlled by those who may instigate these conditions then take advantage of their misfortune. The less educated a society is, the less likely they will revolt against their oppressors.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Awesome post! The thread is great as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I recently purchased a Winter home here in Port Charlotte, FL. When I have driven back North on I75 up through Georgia, I am amazed at how much Billboard Advertising is Religion Based. I plan to take pictures next time and post them.

    Even scarier , many Christians are looking for a better place as promised in their Bible than this old world and so are the Muslims. It’s like the movie Thelma & Louise . They are holding hands and pushing down on the gas peddle as hard as they can while they drive off the cliff ! Unfortunately , the rest of us are in the back seat !

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I really really really, wish someone such as you would g and tell this bloke that he is simply blowing smoke out of his arse.

    I would, but for some reason I am not allowed to comment.
    Who would have guessed, right?

    http://www.is-there-a-god.info/blog/life/do-religious-believers-have-better-health-and-wellbeing-like-really/#comment-10030

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL — I’ve had in depth dialog with your buddy on ratamacue0’s blog. The uncle backed away when I presented neurological data and questioned how he discerned. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pleeeeeze….. just a small comment.
        Whine scrape grovel….
        Sits up and begs….

        Liked by 2 people

        • Not that it will help, but I provided this to his blog Ark.

          “Researchers, including Koenig, say there are limitations to the conclusions anyone should draw from these studies. It could be that people who attend religious services benefit from the social network they form.”

          I think you will find there are numerous studies which show the benefits that social networks provide including but not limited to attending Church.

          Here in the States they would include Masons, Shriners, Elks Club, Moose Club, American Legion, etc. etc.

          Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting to note that the author on the blog you refer to first tells us about the danger of linking correlation to causation and then proceeds to support the idea that religion promotes good stuff… by linking to studies of self reports as if self reporting reveals causation!

      If the self-reporting were anything other than another example of the placebo effect, we should see a correlation in the population aggregate, meaning we should clearly see the reported effect in larger populations between religiosity and this supposed good stuff.

      Well, this is head-scratcher: why the negative correlation?

      So… how can we account for the correlation in the aggregate with all this bad stuff if the personal reporting were indeed accurate and reliable and what the author calls ‘good science’?

      We can’t. Either all the data is wrong or… might the self-reporting be factually incorrect?

      I’ve challenged UnkleE to exactly this accounting. His response? Ignore whatever reality best suits maintaining and continuing to espouse a contrary belief. See? Works every time.

      Having gone down this road before when asked to produce supporting scientific studies revealing the negative correlation in the aggregate and then doing so, I know perfectly well that those who wish to maintain their contrary beliefs like UnkleE really don’t care about:

      A) what’s actually true, and
      B) what reality has to say regarding faith-based claims made about it.

      Tough to have a meaningful conversation or ‘dialogue’ with anyone who doesn’t care about A and B.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Please explain this to him, Tildeb. You have a way of unraveling such nonsense.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well, hopefully, that author might pop by here and actually learn something… starting with the radical idea that commentary free of moderation actually yields a worthwhile conversation based on meaningful, informative, and interesting data… but I doubt he cares to have his faith-based bubble world threatened with reality’s popping of it. After all, UnkleE is allowed to comment while rebuttal is moderated and yours banned! That’s not a good indicator that my time commenting there would be well spent.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sigh … fair enough. 🙂

            Like

            • Ark, I agree with tildeb. Plus, I came to realize that no matter how much I tried to explain the data I presented to him, he just couldn’t grasp it. He has a strong filter, what i would deem as high latent inhibition. I did, however, read his post and the sources. From one of his so called “pro-religion” sources it reads:

              “And religion – including myths, ritual practices, dancing, and praying – is a collection of the behavioral, affective, and cognitive tools people have always used to form those communities.

              BUT…those bounded communities are also the tribes that divide people from one another. The tighter we’re bundled into a meaningful world of shared norms and values, the more alien and inhuman someone from another, different world looks. One only has to glance overseas – to Europe, where anti-Semitism and interreligious tensions are quickly, and terrifyingly, spiraling to levels not seen since World War II, or Iraq, where ISIS is, well, ISIS – to see that religion can drive horrendous and bloody conflict. It always has, and it probably always will.”

              Herein lies the problem in the Bible Belt. When people are different from them, a region of their brain (amydala) associated with fear, impulse, disgust and aggression becomes very active. fMRI scans have shown increased gray matter volume in that area (larger amygdala) of those who claimed to be conservative. We now have a proliferation of neurological studies showing that the more you fear, the more conservative you are, which would explain why the Bible Belt is very conservative.

              They are lead by fear. Consumed by fear (though in denial of it), therefore they need to control their environment. They need everyone to conform to their sense of safety, and that means everyone should believe and be just like them. They make decisions based on fear rather than using their frontal lobes for critical social assessment. In other words, they have a more primitive mindset because they tend to assess their environment primarily via the older parts of the brain.

              Liked by 2 people

          • I would be interested to see whatever exchange would unfold between you two, but I understand your fear of moderation. Has he squelched you before?

            Can you link to past conversations you had with him?

            Like

      • Not only is what you’ve said here true, that they don’t care about A or B, but they’ve also created their own version of reality. The response would typically be something along the lines of, “This report clearly shows a liberal, secular, bias.” Whatever the case, whether it be about history, archaeology, biology, psychology, or socioeconomics they seem to completely discount any data that doesn’t fit their version of reality. “Those [fill in the blank]ists” are not considered as experts or scholars in their respective fields.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think it’s interesting that, according to so many religious folk, reality tends to have a liberal bias!

          Liked by 2 people

        • I was going to write, it doesn’t matter how many reports and links you produce, they would all be biased. Oh wait. Ruth said that. Damn. That will teach me for not getting round the blogs fast enough.

          In which case, what Ruth said ^^.

          I was looking forward to an interesting discussion elsewhere on a religious boot – er Ooops, blog – based on the early Roman Empire, possibly discussing primary and secondary sources but the other commentator said ‘we can all read history’ and then trotted out yet another biblical reference. I figured it was a waste of time and space pointing out the bible wasn’t regarded as an academic source for ancient and medieval roman history and archaeology.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. I suppose the obvious thing to do is move to Hawaii. My state of residence is Tn. Which fared only 4 slots better than Miss.

    I have family in Ia. Ia. fared pretty well overall which surprised me really. Ia is pretty much a huge cornfield, and as far as I know it’s only major claim to fame. I lived in Ia. some when I was a kid, always liked it there, just wound up here somehow and never left…

    Anyway, nice post, thanks for bringing this to our attention. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi SD, thanks for commenting. TN is a beautiful state, especially eastern TN, but dang, the culture, especially in the mountains is very fundamentalist. Same with eastern NC. You can’t go anywhere where you don’t find a sign, fliers, bumper stickers, etc. that states something like “Turn or Burn”, lol.

      These people are afraid of their own shadow. Thankfully, I live on the MS Gulf Coast, where the extremism isn’t near as bad. This area is predominately Catholic. At least Catholics tend to let their hair down and live a little. The further north you go, the more Baptist it becomes and the more dysfunctional it becomes.

      Like

  16. Another excellent post, Victoria. And as House said, “If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.”

    Liked by 3 people

  17. I want to say that it’s graphs and charts like that, that make me glad to be living in Ontario, Canada! But I haven’t looked into this type of phenomenon here in Canada. Feel like doing another project? LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I was gobsmacked by the signs. I mean, “Satan was the first to demand equal rights” What??? I’m not sure those signs would last very long in the UK

    Liked by 3 people

  19. More on your “favorite” state … http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/03/20/3636702/man-found-hanging-from-tree-in-mississippi/

    Quote from article: “Although details surrounding the incident are still murky, Mississippi is widely recognized for deeply entrenched racism.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, it’s been all over the local news. This is so disheartening. Mississippi is widely recognized for deeply entrenched racism and the research shows a significant correlation between high religiosity and racism.

      “In his latest analysis of 40 years of aggregate data from the General Social Survey (see his book Changing Faith, 2014), sociologist Darren Sherkat reveals that strongly religious Americans are far more likely to support laws against interracial marriage than secular Americans; indeed 45 percent of Baptists and 38 percent of sectarian Protestants (conservative Evangelicals) support laws against interracial marriage, but only 11 percent of secular people do.

      Sherkat’s analysis is no outlier. He’s found what many others have found: that the more religious a person is, the more likely he are she is going to be racist, and the less religious he or she is, the less likely.

      Consider perhaps the most definitive study on this question ever published. In a landmark analysis titled “Why Don’t We Practice What We Preach: A Meta-Analytic Review of Religious Racism,” Duke University professor Deborah Hall and associates carefully analyzed 55 separate studies in order to reveal the relationship between religion, irreligion, and racism. And the most pertinent finding was that strongly religious Americans tend to be the most racist, moderately religious Americans tend to be less racist, and yet the group of Americans found to be the least racist of all are secular Americans,

      As psychologists Ralph Hood, Peter Hill, and Bernard Spilka have noted, in their comprehensive The Psychology of Religion, and basing their assessment upon decades of research, “as a broad generalization, the more religious an individual is, the more prejudiced that person is.”

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201408/secularism-religion-and-racism

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Here’s an excellent article from South Alabama Atheist published yesterday:

    Excerpt:

    “Churches now push for reductions in healthcare, reductions in food security, reductions in education spending, reductions in housing subsidies, reductions in equality through discriminatory laws, voter suppression laws, immigration actions… through their vocal support of far right wing politicians. They have so deformed the original message of Christianity that it has lost all its meaning. “Love thy neighbor”, “Do unto others”, “turn the other cheek”, all lost to the dogma of control.

    They use their power as the holders to the keys of heaven to dictate whom their congregations must vote for. This is coming from the person tasked with the security of your eternal place in heaven… that is an enormous amount of power to wield. Not to mention the Wealth preachers who suck their congregations funds like a wolf devouring the marrow.”

    http://www.southalabamaatheist.com/2015/03/the-holy-trinity-of-religious-right.html

    Like

  21. But hey — we have millions of crosses in the South, including this 11-story high cross, erected yesterday in Florence, Mississippi. The cost of this cross? Around $100,000.

    “It’s a piece of your heart to do something for the good Lord,” cross contractor Louis Miller said.”

    Screw the 35% of children living in poverty here in Miss. Putting up an 11-story high cross is far more important and a much better use of resources.

    http://www.wapt.com/news/central-mississippi/110foot-cross-going-up-in-florence/31755444

    Like

    • It needs a commemorative plaque with the following inscription:

      “You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.” Lev 26:1 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  22. I know Oklahoma isn’t considered the “south” but it’s still the bible belt and pretty scary in a lot of ways. I lived there for 3 years while doing my masters, and the politics of that state really do feel like you are living in the early 1900’s. Much of the south is failing and while it might be a bit of chicken and the egg on what is the cause and effect, what is clear is that it’s a positive feedback in which the worse the education gets, and the more religious the people get, the worse everything becomes. When you see a state vote successfully to cancel AP history, or try to get creation taught along side evolution, you see the very education that will help get them out of their poverty is the first thing to be suppressed. The south is so fervently republican too and yet time and time again they literally vote against their own interests. Despite the Republican narrative that all the welfare recipients are democrats and vote democratic to get their free money and food….given the level of poverty in the south and the overwhelming majority of Republican votes there has to be at least some overlap between those on welfare and those who vote Republican. Watching the ignorance of the South grow each day is both baffling and sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is sad, Swarn, because we have significant neurological evidence now that the more fearful one is the greater likelihood of being politically conservative, and people in power know how to use fear mongering to their advantage. This really does help to explain why people end up voting against their own best interests. They are primarily voting via their limbic system (amygdala) rather than their frontal lobes for critical assessment. They are told “Your world is on fire”, as recently proclaimed by Ted Cruz, and their limbic system lights up like a Christmas tree.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I wish I could light Ted Cruz up like a Christmas tree. (Sorry to butt in).

        Like

      • Spot on! I consider insecurity (a feeling of vulnerability) to be the root cause of fear–the more insecure one feels, the more fearful he becomes and the more likely he is to reach out for protection (via God, guns, and aggressiveness), and consider any attempt by others to debate the issues with reason as an attack. This, too, explains why so many religious conservatives become angry in a debate when challenged with a well reasoned question.

        Swarn Gill’s comment is dead on about education. Plato suggested around 400 bce that democracy will fail to bring about social justice because the bulk of the people have little or no idea how to manage the complexities of government, and because of their intellectual deficiency, they are easily deceived by the emotional rhetoric of self-serving politicians.

        And, BTW, you probably know that in Plato’s day, the political philosophy of the Oligarchs were virtually identical to most conservatives today. At least today, issues are propagated by propaganda instead of bloody battles. Thank reason for small favors.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hey Max — sorry for the late reply. Your wrote:

          “and because of their intellectual deficiency, they are easily deceived by the emotional rhetoric of self-serving politicians.

          I agree. self-serving politicians are very well aware of people’s propensity to be emotionally manipulated. They are also aware that humans flock/herd like birds and sheep (as the studies show) and that the majority tend to follow the without their conscience awareness. What was intended to benefit our species as a whole has been used against us.

          Btw, speaking of guns, I guess you’ve heard that the conservative governor in Kansas signed a bill allowing people to have concealed weapons without a permit. Just what this country needs. Conservatives own more guns, which is pretty damn daunting when you look at their neurological makeup.

          Hope you’re having a great weekend so far. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

          Like

          • “Conservatives own more guns, which is pretty damn daunting when you look at their neurological makeup.”

            Perfect! And, yes, had a great weekend, especially with the completion of my book trailer. Smart Graphics Designs did a wonderful job!

            Like

  23. Reblogged this on My Life is a Soap Opera and commented:
    Just had to reblog due to my eyebrow raising questions to my oldest daughter who thought going to college in Mississippi was a wonderful idea and that my husband wants to move somewhere warm, like GA. Argh. I’d love to move but I need stay where my freedom is unopposed and unadulterated by religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank God for divine intervention in Oklahoma.

    http://i.imgur.com/BHjDD7E.png?1

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Religions sure get on the fear game and feed on it.

    But religion is not the only method of cultural influence, that promotes fear. Just the other day, a friend of mine – not an especially religious fellow – commented on the forthcoming elections here in Finland and said, that the more he follows politics the more inclined he is to vote for the left. Now, our right is left from your left in the US, but our right is aslo conservative in certain issues. And those issues are about fear. This friend of mine said, that he has trouble in voting for the left, because they are not interrested in defence of our country. At first I was about to loose my marbles, after years of knowing me, this dude had the audacity to (though most likely inadvertantly) suggest, I was not a patriot because of my political affiliation. Then I realized, that that was what he had been fed all his life. That the part of the country where he comes from is in the middle of our equivalent for the “Bible belt” where, not surprizingly Christians are more ignorant than the rest of the people and all for “traditional values”. An area where conservative politicians tend to play the fear factor of Ruskies against socialists, even today when over a generation has been from the fall of the Soviet Union. I decided, that me getting all worked up about it would not help and I tried to ask him – as I know he knows a lot about the history of WWII – how did he think it was possible for the Finns to fight of the Soviets, if (according to the voting habits of people and our pariliament in those days) half of the nation were socialists, all ready to backstab, or sabotage Finnish war effort? It was a ridiculous question, since the Finnish socialists were the first condemning the Soviet agression on Finnish indipendence and on sovereign rights of nations as declared by the socialist internationals, but fear indoctrination of years is hard to overcome even when it comes from non-religious source. And sometimes you need to ask the stupid question. The response seems to be dependant on how much does the particular fear form a part of the identity of the individual.

    The conservative holds on to tradition and faith, because he thinks he knows those and feels more able to tackle with them than the unknown change that is coming in the future, and that the progressive people seem to hasten along. As if the conservative was not equipped to meet up with new situations and able to evaluate the ethics of anything, but rathered just that everything was left as it is.

    In the wise words of Yoda: “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to the dark side.” As with Star Wars, the Bible, the Koran or what ever work of fiction, it does not matter wether the humane truth is said by a fictional character or an actual historical persona, because what is said is always more important, than who said it. But how to convey this much to the religious?

    A year ago there was a big religious campaign here and the main thing they focused was to overcome fear. What they did, was to promote Christianity through a number of people who told in their respective adverstisment talks about how they no longer feared since they had found Jesus. What it was, that they exactly feared before they found Jesus, none said, but it seemed clear to me, that the campaign was directed towards fearfull people. That the purpose was to pray on people who have this inexplicable sense of fear, that they require for their faith to put down. But what are these people affraid of?

    Liked by 3 people

    • “But what are these people affraid of?”

      Life — reality.

      “What they did, was to promote Christianity through a number of people who told in their respective adverstisment talks about how they no longer feared since they had found Jesus. What it was, that they exactly feared before they found Jesus, none said, but it seemed clear to me, that the campaign was directed towards fearfull people.

      I just think it’s all so interesting. Christianity promotes fear, and Christianity is said to suppress fear. Many Christians are afraid to die, but they are also afraid to live.

      It’s great to see you around the blogosphere again. You’ve been missed.

      Liked by 2 people

      • “Many Christians are afraid to die, but they are also afraid to live.”

        How very true.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am only back for the moment as I happen to have this terrible flue. God’s scourge on the infidel.

        Anyway, what is it about life and reality, that they find so terrifying, that they feel they need this invisible helper? I am sorry, if the answer is obvious, but as I have never been a member of any religion, it is alien to me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sorry to read that you’re feeling under the weather. I don’t know if you’ve read the neurological studies about the makeup of the brains of political conservatives, but they continue to show the same results. Increased electrical activity and gray matter volume in the area of the brain associated with fear. Two more studies came out just recently. In America, the most conservative states tend to be the most religious. For example: Mississippi is the most religious state in the Union and it is also the most politically conservative.

          Quote:
          “There is by now evidence from a variety of laboratories around the world using a variety of methodological techniques leading to the virtually inescapable conclusion that the cognitive-motivational styles of leftists and rightists are quite different. This research consistently finds that conservatism is positively associated with heightened epistemic concerns for order, structure, closure, certainty, consistency, simplicity, and familiarity, as well as existential concerns such as perceptions of danger, sensitivity to threat, and death anxiety.

          http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/biology-ideology-john-hibbing-negativity-bias

          This perfectly aligns with what many of the mainstream religions offer: certainty and a curtailing of death anxiety. What they are discovering is that it’s not just environment, it’s biological.

          [… in the American Journal of Political Science, a team of researchers including Peter Hatemi of Penn State University and Rose McDermott of Brown University studied the relationship between our deep-seated tendencies to experience fear—tendencies that vary from person to person, partly for reasons that seem rooted in our genes—and our political beliefs. What they found is that people who have more fearful disposition also tend to be more politically conservative, and less tolerant of immigrants and people of races different from their own. As McDermott carefully emphasizes, that does not mean that every conservative has a high fear disposition. “It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative,”

          http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicans

          Hope you feel better soon.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I did actually read about that, but I must admit, that at the moment I am expecting what sort of peer review they are going to get and if there will be corroborating research.

            People of different backrounds can change their minds and have various different aspects to fear, or even grow over irrational fears. Like you have 🙂 .

            This study certainly would confirm my on suspicions on how people become indoctrinated to certain kinds of religious, political and other sorts of social movements. All fears have been learned, but the way we learn to learn affects the way our thinking ie. brain works. Environment strongly affects our individual biology. Like a lack of nutrients in certain age might damage growth of bone, muscle or even neurons in the brain. That combined with a limited scope of coping mechanisms learned in the face of reality may cause real damage cases. As for example when kids who have recieved very limited amounts of empathy may become emotionlly cold or even psychopatic.

            Ideologies that overemphesize on fear or individualism may inflict us to grow to be very selfish indeed. I also fear the effects of overt commercialism, in wich the value of the individual is measured by the property they hold. It ultimately is going to set some people in a position in wich they have learned from advertisments that they deserve all the luxury items ever advertized, or if they can not get them by any means necessary, they have no value in the society. And at the other end of the spectrum – just as an example – the richest man in Finland moved to Sweden because of taxes (the typical extent of the patriotism of the rich). Everybody knows Sweden is not exactly a tax-paradise world wise, but this as by his own choise nowadays foreign dude, who has inherited his vast property, is frequently quoted in the media on Finnish politics. Why? As if his inherited property gave any authority to his personal opinions?

            If this research is respective of reality, does that then mean, that all religions are more or less death cults, that first emphasize on the fear of death only to offer themselves up as reliefs to this natural fear blown out of proportion?

            It kind of goes to show how much religions are about whisfull thinking, that the afterlife elements of the stories are so central, even though the discussion with the non-believers seems to revolve around the god characters. I guess that is why the, oh so childish, Pascal’s wager is offered to the non-believer over and over again.

            But what is it about life that they are so affraid of?

            Liked by 1 person

            • “…but I must admit, that at the moment I am expecting what sort of peer review they are going to get and if there will be corroborating research.”

              Hi R, my apologies for taking so long to get back with you. I’ve been spread thin lately. Here are 16 peer-reviewed studies showing liberals and conservatives are, for the most part, physiologically different.

              “People of different backrounds can change their minds and have various different aspects to fear, or even grow over irrational fears. Like you have “

              Absolutely, but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work if you’ve been deeply indoctrinate and especially with fear, which (via neuroplasticity) has led to increased gray matter volume. Those pathways which have networked, have to be atrophied. Fear can be like having an addiction.

              “Environment strongly affects our individual biology.”

              I concur. A person may have the aggression gene, a.k.a., the “warrior” gene, but the environment will determine whether that gene is turned on or not (gene expression).

              “As for example when kids who have recieved very limited amounts of empathy may become emotionlly cold or even psychopatic.”

              Yes — and kids who have not formed proper attachments with their primary caregivers (for what ever reason, i.e., war, child abuse, adoption, etc.) are at a greater risk of pons dysfunction, therefore, attachment disorders which can lead to an inability to get along with others as well as antisocial behavior, including psychopathy.

              “But what is it about life that they are so affraid of?”

              There are a lot of things to be afraid of. It’s a matter of focus, and if you have a larger, more active amygdala, then your focus will most likely be on the negative, scary things in your environment.

              I hope you’re feeling better. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  26. I live in Lee’s Summit Missouri which is just barely within the red zone on the map.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Why they waste their time on missions beats “the hell” out of me!!! Lol…seriously though- they are but the “frozen chosen”- why waste their time on missions if they are pre-destined to Heaven and anyone else to hell…🙉😏 And I’m sorry the Lord did not call someone and say “Please move to the tropics to spread the good news.” They told their damn self that and then told everyone it was the Lord so they could get money and pay for their move…so sad…
    I feel like I have no freedom of speech in the south- I have even been called a “heretic” with much disdain and hate- and the crazy thing is they call me this even when I tell them I am a follower of Christ and his true message of love and peace- they are true fundamentalists and it scares the shit out of me sometimes-they are so judgmental even to Christians! 😳
    I’m sorry for you friend 😔
    Best wishes peace and love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Linden, what a nice surprise to see you here. Welcome, and thank you for subbing. I shall do the same on your blog. 🙂 I’m sorry that you experience something very similar to what I experience as an unbeliever. It there is one thing I’ve noticed among many Christians, it’s that they don’t seem to be peaceful among themselves, which would probably explain why there are approximately 42,000 Christian denominations/sects.

      If Christians want to claim that they are a peaceful religion then they need to walk the talk. I grew up Catholic and I was told throughout my entire childhood that if you were not a Catholic, you were going to hell. In other words, everyone was going to burn in the hell their god created, which included all the other 41,999 sects of Christianity. I can’t tell you how much that fucked with my head as a child. I definitely wished more Christians were life you. Our country would be a less hostel, more inclusive, peaceful and safer place to live.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hate that happened to you! I look forward to reading your blog more and making connections 😎😊I think most Christians worship the Bible and not Jesus and therein lies the problem with their foundation-if they did actually pay attention to what Jesus’ message and point was- and adhered to the very basic principal of peace and love amongst everyone)- and rather reading and honoring the Bible more as a piece of literature (recognizing that a lot of the Bible is in metaphors)-then the need for sects/denominations would not be necessary 😔 so sad people think it’s inerrant and literal!! i have some friends that keep trying to push church on me so much so that they tried to get my daughter a “scholarship” to a Christian preschool…ummm…thanks but no thanks lol 😉😝 I didn’t ask for it- but I have a feeling they were trying to rob my daughter of her free will and free thinking mind 😒 lol and most of the rest of their kids are home schooled- oh I just can’t wait until those kids grow up and get out from under their house prison- they will be wild as “hell” and I’ll be sitting back saying- see told you- the more you try to control the more out of control the control becomes 😉 I have seen it from one of my friends who was a missionary’s kid who is now not religious at all!
        PS- I’m not even allowed in Catholic Churches by people who know my past- I am on my 3rd marriage- I’m way beyond being saved by their religion LOL 😂 I’m a perpetual adulterer (gasp) lol 🙈

        Like

  28. Pingback: Evangelical Extremism Strikes Again – Two New Bills Have Passed in Mississippi | Victoria Neür☼N☮☂eṧ

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