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t.j.2125

Christian Influence

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As someone who is thinking of moving to the area, I'm curious about the Christian influence and presence in Charlotte and the surrounding communities. Do non-Christians feel outnumbered and sometimes stifled by it, or does everyone live nicely and accept each other's differences?

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As someone who is thinking of moving to the area, I'm curious about the Christian influence and presence in Charlotte and the surrounding communities. Do non-Christians feel outnumbered and sometimes stifled by it, or does everyone live nicely and accept each other's differences?

While many say that Charlotte is all about churches and Billy Graham, many are quite shocked to see that Charlotte is a melting pot of all types of different beliefs. Most of the diversity in beliefs is simply because of the influx of so many new residents that come from all over the US and other parts of the globe. Most of the migration is coming from the North (NYC, Philly, NJ, Boston, etc etc) so that is where we get diversity in different beliefs.

A2

(hope that helps answer your question)

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This is kinda like that "Where does the south begin" thread in the top of the forums.

Charlotte isn't deeply fundamentalist, Mecklenburg isn't a dry county... But ,we're in the south-- so you'll find it more common, that your new co-workers and acquaintences have church integrated into their weekend plans, and have already met many of their own friends/wives there.

It's kinda like talking about Salt Lake City versus the rest of Utah. Big cities are usually... well... more urbane! (Duh) :)

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Out of curiosity, tj, what kind of place do you imagine Charlotte to be?

Charlotte is a medium-sized city in the United States. Most of the people in the city were raised inother parts of the country or world. People here watch the same TV and read the same magazines and books as the rest of the country. Chances are, most of your neighbors and colleagues in Charlotte are from Pennsylvania, Ohio, or New York, so they might have met a non-Christian once or twice before.

There are probably more practicing Christians in this part of the country, as there are quite a few churches. Unlike much of the "Bible Belt", however, Charlotte is not dominated by Baptist churches. There is a strong Presbyterian influence in the city, dating back to the original Scotch-Irish settlers. The largest denominations in the city are Presbyterians and Methodists, churches with a reputation for being relatively tolerant.

You will not be tarred and feathered for not going to church. Who would even know? It isn't like this is a quaint little town, where everyone knows and cares about your business. :)

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I grew up in a smaller town in NC and it was assumed that everyone was Christian. Almost everyone went to church. Even in that environment the only person preaching to me was my grandmother.

Yeah, there are a lot of churches in NC and in Charlotte specifically, and there are a lot of people who call themselves Christians, but I don't think you'll be persecuted for not being a Christian unless you go to a Christian organization and announce it. I find that most people here don't discuss religion in a non-religious place and many people attend church for social reasons.

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Having recently moved here, I do find Charlotte to be heavily Christian (baptist predominately)- probably because most of the people here are. As a newcomer, visually, I haven't seen many nonChristian places of worship or people who are visably different in that sense. Its not like there are a ton of temples and mosques but then if there aren't a lot of muslims and jews then its sort of understandable. I also don't see many catholic churches either.

Having come from an area where you would here the muslim call the prayer over the loud speaker in the neighborhood and see women veiled, I haven't had that experience or nor do I expect to. I haven't met a jewish person here yet and definetly no Hasidim (which I wouldn't expect to).

I don't think that Charlotte is closed, I just think that its not a very diverse place even with many of the residents being relocators. I suspect a lot of those who have relocated here are cut from the same type of clothe (even if they're coming from different places). And then the culture here sort of encourages conformity and sameness. You're not going to be rejected but you shouldn't rock the boat to hard either.

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I think there are similar cultural aspects here, as in my answer to your question about tolerance of gays. People around here seem to be much more private about their private lives. Controversial stuff stays under the surface in most relationships and definitely from interaction with strangers.

I also don't hear as many people talking politics here as I have in other cities.

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Having come from an area where you would here the muslim call the prayer over the loud speaker in the neighborhood and see women veiled, I haven't had that experience or nor do I expect to. I haven't met a jewish person here yet and definetly no Hasidim (which I wouldn't expect to).

You are kidding right. Shalom Park is one of the largest Temples in the Carolina's and for that matter the entire S/E. It is obehind one of the largest Jewish communities in Charlotte (Lansdowne). I know since I just moved from there. It is right off of Providence road. ONLY TWO HOUSES on my street were not Jewish (One of those two was mine)

Here is some really cool sites if you want to take a look regarding the Jewish population and how influential they have been in shaping CLT:

http://www.jewishcharlotte.org/content_dis...ArticleID=27748

http://www.jewishtourofthecarolinas.org/charlotte.html

A2

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The Islamic Center of Charlotte is looking to expand many of their centers because they simply can't keep pace with the demand of newcomers to CLT that are Mulsim.

The Islamic Center of Charlotte is considered the central of three mosques located in Charlotte, and it has the largest population. It is so large, in fact, that there have been plans for some time to expand their building or to build a new center entirely.

On another note

The Greek Orthodox Church on East is not only the largest in the state, but holds the GREEK festival every year and it has been a long standing tradition each and every year here in CLT.

From Chrisitan (Both Protestant and Catholic), to Jewish, to Muslim, and to Greek Charlotte boasts many different beliefs.

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This question can't be answered in general terms since the answer varies depending on which neighborhood you choose. As such, there are plenty of neighborhood options. I live in Plaza-Midwood where church and religion are non-issues.

As far as work goes, my coworkers are Protestant, Catholic, and non-religious. They are from Ohio, California, Indiana, and South Carolina.

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This question can't be answered in general terms since the answer varies depending on which neighborhood you choose. As such, there are plenty of neighborhood options. I live in Plaza-Midwood where church and religion are non-issues.

As far as work goes, my coworkers are Protestant, Catholic, and non-religious. They are from Ohio, California, Indiana, and South Carolina.

agreed. I work with mainly Protestans or Catholics, but I have many close friends that are Jewish. Most all of the people I work with are from the N/E (mainly NYC and NJ)

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As someone who is thinking of moving to the area, I'm curious about the Christian influence and presence in Charlotte and the surrounding communities. Do non-Christians feel outnumbered and sometimes stifled by it, or does everyone live nicely and accept each other's differences?

i dont think you would feel anymore outnumbered than in the rest of the US, which is predominantly christian as we know.

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The only thing I find wrong with this thread is that we are assuming that Christian beliefs are bad. They are not. There seems to be a limited amount of understanding OF ALL beliefs. Most would assume that Charlotte is full of a great number Holy Evangelists that are out to condemn everyone to Hell.

It is not !

I think that it is really sad that many assume this of Charlotte. What is funny is that the same people that don't want the burden of being judged by so-called over zealous Christians are JUST AS GUILTY since they HAVE NO TOLERANCE themselves.

This goes for ANY and EVERY belief. If you suggest and promote tolerance of different beliefs and cultures, then you really need to practice it yourself and stop judging a city by its population of one belief over another.

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As someone who is thinking of moving to the area, I'm curious about the Christian influence and presence in Charlotte and the surrounding communities. Do non-Christians feel outnumbered and sometimes stifled by it, or does everyone live nicely and accept each other's differences?

I am a Gay Athiest. Charlotte is a real mixed bag.

I think the most notable experience I ever had was when my BF and myself were having lunch in a restaurant, and this christian crusader do-gooder bible thumper took it on herself to come to our table as she had apparently concluded we were Gay. She pulled out her Bible and start preaching the "word of god" about how we were going to burn in hell if we didn't change our ways. :sick: My BF wasn't going to have any of this he grabbed her by the arm and threw her out the front door of the restaurant.

When AIDS hit Charlotte in the mid-80s, I watched hundreds my friends die from the disease and the treatment they got here from the religious community was simply atrocious. Many churches took it on themselves to declare this was punishment from God for leading sinful lives and even the more moderate places were simply silent. I watched people tossed out on the street by their families and their churches all in the name of religion. All but one funeral home in town refused to even bury the dead. It was really really bad and mostly due to the misguided christian beliefs that a lot of people have here.

Now that AIDS is no longer considered a Gay disease this has changed of course, but it is an example of Charlotte's recent religious history.

On the other hand, there are many thoughtful kind people in the Charlotte area, even religious ones, so you simply have to pick and choose the crowd you want to hang around with. There are also many Churches in the community that welcome Gay members and anyone else that wants to know about their faith. For the most part, I have found that for people who are truely faithful, the beliefs and sexuality of others are of no concern to them. It does not affect their relationship with their God and beliefs. It's those who decide to force their beliefs on others, in the name of religion that make me sick.

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The only thing I find wrong with this thread is that we are assuming that Christian beliefs are bad. They are not. There seems to be a limited amount of understanding OF ALL beliefs. Most would assume that Charlotte is full of a great number Holy Evangelists that are out to condemn everyone to Hell.

It is not !

I think that it is really sad that many assume this of Charlotte. What is funny is that the same people that don't want the burden of being judged by so-called over zealous Christians are JUST AS GUILTY since they HAVE NO TOLERANCE themselves.

This goes for ANY and EVERY belief. If you suggest and promote tolerance of different beliefs and cultures, then you really need to practice it yourself and stop judging a city by its population of one belief over another.

But I think tj's question is more related to how he specifically could expect to be treated, being a non-religious or non-Christian person.

Regardless of the validity of any one religion, the answer is that while you might be outnumbered here, you should not expect to be treated as an outcast or proselytized rigorously.

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I am a Gay Athiest. Charlotte is a real mixed bag.

I think the most notable experience I ever had was when my BF and myself were having lunch in a restaurant, and this christian crusader do-gooder bible thumper took it on herself to come to our table as she had apparently concluded we were Gay. She pulled out her Bible and start preaching the "word of god" about how we were going to burn in hell if we didn't change our ways. :sick: My BF wasn't going to have any of this he grabbed her by the arm and threw her out the front door of the restaurant.

When AIDS hit Charlotte in the mid-80s, I watched hundreds my friends die from the disease and the treatment they got here from the religious community was simply atrocious. Many churches took it on themselves to declare this was punishment from God for leading sinful lives and even the more moderate places were simply silent. I watched people tossed out on the street by their families and their churches all in the name of religion. All but one funeral home in town refused to even bury the dead. It was really really bad and mostly due to the misguided christian beliefs that a lot of people have here.

Now that AIDS is no longer considered a Gay disease this has changed of course, but it is an example of Charlotte's recent religious history.

On the other hand, there are many thoughtful kind people in the Charlotte area, even religious ones, so you simply have to pick and choose the crowd you want to hang around with. There are also many Churches in the community that welcome Gay members and anyone else that wants to know about their faith. For the most part, I have found that for people who are truely faithful, the beliefs and sexuality of others are of no concern to them. It does not affect their relationship with their God and beliefs. It's those who decide to force their beliefs on others, in the name of religion that make me sick.

You really hit the nail on the head here metro. There are extemists in every city. I hope that others outside of Charlotte don't see it as the city that embraces the kind of crap you had to personally deal with.

For that matter, we could say the same thing about the Muslim community and how they have extremist. There are extremists in every belief that want tell you that you are going to Hell. A Muslim extremist would rather fly a Jumbo Jet into a bulding and kill thousands of people for the sake of a "so called cause"

My point is not to offend ANYONE.

Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc etc.

My point is that we as reasonable Citizens need not judge our brother, no matter what race, creed, sex, etc etc. That is AMERICA ! If tolerance is not observed than this is truly sad, but as for Charlotte, I personally have never felt pressure form any group or belief.

If someone is suggesting that they would rather move somewhere else because there might be slightly more Christians than say DC then are they not just as guilty as the person who called you and your BF out and said you were going to hell?

think about it.......

A2

Jeez when will we ever learn the defination of Tolerance

A2

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But I think tj's question is more related to how he specifically could expect to be treated, being a non-religious or non-Christian person.

Regardless of the validity of any one religion, the answer is that while you might be outnumbered here, you should not expect to be treated as an outcast or proselytized rigorously.

I agree. So I guess in a short answer to TJ, it is simple. If you move to Charlotte you will not have any stones cast your way.

If they do let me know so we can call out the hypocrits that threw it....

A2

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I'm not so sure a guarantee is in order. Rude people are everywhere.

But from the perspective of the general culture of the city, this is not a common occurance. I suspect that M.m would agree that the city is very different, culturally, than it was ten and twenty years ago. Antisocial behavior is now much less likely than when Charlotte was a smaller, less diverse place.

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I suspect that M.m would agree that the city is very different, culturally, than it was ten and twenty years ago. Antisocial behavior is now much less likely than when Charlotte was a smaller, less diverse place.

No I would not agree. I see little difference in the culture of 2005 vs 1985. If anything people have gotten more extreme, more divisive, and more dog eat dog than they were 20 years ago. Religious fundalmentalism and extremism isn't just a problem in the Muslem world. We just don't admit to it here.

Keep in mind that just recently Billy Graham. Jr had this to say about Muslems. "The God of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different god, and I believe it is a very evil and very wicked religion.". Since his father turned over his ministery to his son and did not rebuke him on this matter we can assume this is what they really believe. Charlotte is considered the home of these people and there is even a freeway named after them.

Several of the large churches in the city now have organized efforts aligned with Exodus to "cure" Gays of their misguided and diseased ways.

Charlotte has a Mayor who refuses to consider domestic benefits for the city's Gay & Lesbian employees.

The difference now as opposed to 20 years ago are the bigots are more organized, more vocal, and intent on electing politicians that will support their ways.

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But in the general culture, do those beliefs make it more difficult for non-Christians to live here in contrast to other parts of the country or world?

I'm sure there are many things spoken in church or by ministers that non-Christians will not agree with. If they do, then they probably would not be non-Christians. I don't think all Christians in a city need to become universalists in order for the city to be healthy as a diverse society. I also don't think Moslems should believe Christians will go to heaven. Expecting the beliefs of a religion to be accepting of everyone, as A2 said, is not being tolerant back to the followers of that religion. However, that isn't to say that it isn't freaking rude to tell someone their going to hell.

I'm surprised (obviously) to hear that the city is less tolerant than it was 20 years ago. But maybe ngp has a point, that it is mostly based on neighborhood.

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Having recently moved here, I do find Charlotte to be heavily Christian (baptist predominately)- probably because most of the people here are. As a newcomer, visually, I haven't seen many nonChristian places of worship or people who are visably different in that sense. Its not like there are a ton of temples and mosques but then if there aren't a lot of muslims and jews then its sort of understandable. I also don't see many catholic churches either.

Having come from an area where you would here the muslim call the prayer over the loud speaker in the neighborhood and see women veiled, I haven't had that experience or nor do I expect to. I haven't met a jewish person here yet and definetly no Hasidim (which I wouldn't expect to).

I don't think that Charlotte is closed, I just think that its not a very diverse place even with many of the residents being relocators. I suspect a lot of those who have relocated here are cut from the same type of clothe (even if they're coming from different places). And then the culture here sort of encourages conformity and sameness. You're not going to be rejected but you shouldn't rock the boat to hard either.

i don't know where you live or where you spend your time. i would only say to you that my experiences are not at all what yours seem to be. this is not NYC, there is no other place in the world like NYC. that being said, charlotte will offer to you most of whatever you want. this is not unlike any other city... however, in charlotte you might have to dig a little deeper. the bottom line is charlotte IS a progressive city overall.

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The difference now as opposed to 20 years ago are the bigots are more organized, more vocal, and intent on electing politicians that will support their ways.

I think the organization and the outspokenness is, if anything, a response to a larger idealogical shift. Nobody needs to organize a crusade when widespread bigotry is a forgone conclusion.

And as far as McCrory goes, his gay marriage stance is just another example of the GOP stooping to the lowest common denominator to secure the far-right votes. It seems like social issues are the only thing Republicans vote for these days, so he just told them what they wanted to hear. Too bad for the civilized segment of the population.

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I think a lot of this comes down to fear of what is different. This is not specific to the Southeast or to Charlotte or to Christians or to whites or to any other region, race, religion, or lifestyle.

Most of my friends are non-Christian, and among them there are some atheists who take their dislike for Christians pretty far. Just as there are are many bible-thumping, pushy, hypocritical Christians in this world, there are plenty of people who put on airs of superiority and get a kick out of heckling Christians, neither side putting an ounce of effort towards understanding the other.

Tolerance is a two-way street, and thank goodness most people on both sides understand this and are willing to co-exist. It is the fundamentalists and extremists who cause the problems, and a little effort towards mutual understanding would help a lot.

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Domestic partner benefits are a public policy issue. It is debatable and controversial as many public policy issues are. It is just another budget item that does or doesn't have political support. I don't think opposition to it is any indication of hatred of gays any more than opposition to school bonds is an indication of hatred of children (although hatred of children is probably justified, as they are very noisy and don't pay taxes :) ).

Back to religion: I have lived in Charlotte for five years, and I don't think religion has ever come up at work or in the neighborhood, and certainly not with strangers (beyond the occassional process of getting to know a new friend). I'm sure there are different situations that come up for openly gay people, but specifically relating to religion, I just can't envision how that even comes up.

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It is just another budget item that does or doesn't have political support. I don't think opposition to it is any indication of hatred of gays any more than opposition to school bonds is an indication of hatred of children (although hatred of children is probably justified, as they are very noisy and don't pay taxes :) ).

It's not just another budget item. It is a form of discrimination as gay and lesbian couples are not treated to the same benefits as those of their legally married counterparts. McCroy's excuse that including it would cost the city money is just a smokescreen because his religiously conservative republican supporters would crucify him otherwise. He just doesn't have the balls to admit the real reasons behind his decision.

I don't really appreciate the comparison to funding for schools. That has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion.

It is the 21st century yet public policy is still to discriminate and that is why I can easily say the culture here is not any different than it was 20 years ago. I've had domestic benefits for almost that long, but I work for a company based in the Northeast. In this regard, Charlotte public policy is backwards, hateful and hypocritical.

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