America's Bible Belt - In God We Trust

bible belt map

First coined in 1924 the term Bible Belt refers generally to the southern US states where Evangelical Protestantism has its strongest presence. Oddly enough the term is used with pride by believers and often as an insult by non-believers. The geographic spread of the Bible Belt is generally the former slave states of the south, although there are pockets of exclusion in this region and areas of believers stretching to the north and west as well.

The main churches of the Bible Belt are fundamentalist Christian churches including:

  • A variety of Baptist churches of various degrees of strictness
  • Pentecostal churches including the Assembly of God and many associated with tele-evangelism
  • Various conservative Methodist churches who regard the mainstream Methodists as too worldly
  • Undenominational churches such as the Churches of Christ and Brethren

 

TThe Bible Belt states are generally very conservative politically and strongly favour the Republican Party. Various lobby groups, termed the Religious Right, seek to influence public policy especially in the areas of abortion, gay rights, foreign policy, creationist science education and freedom to carry guns. The political power of the Bible Belt can be formidable, but generally the more the Republican party seeks to meet these aims the more they alienate right wing voters of the more liberal states of California, New England and around the Great Lakes.

Attractions with appeal for Christian believers include: