The Bible Belt is a region of the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics. The region contrasts with the religiously diverse Midwest and Great Lakes, and the Mormon Corridor in Utah and southern Idaho. Evangelical influence is strongest in northern Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, southern and western Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina and East Texas.
About Bible Belt in brief
The Bible Belt is a region of the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics. The region contrasts with the religiously diverse Midwest and Great Lakes, and the Mormon Corridor in Utah and southern Idaho. The Evangelical influence is strongest in northern Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, southern and western Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and East Texas. Whereas the states with the highest percentage of residents identifying as non-religious are the West and New England regions of the United States, in the Bible Belt state of Alabama it is just 12%. Tennessee has the highest proportion of Evangelical Protestants, at 52%. The name \”Bible Belt\” has been applied historically to the South and parts of the Midwest, but is more commonly identified with the South. In December 2019, shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump, Christianity Today published a controversial editorial calling for the removal of Donald Trump from the presidency. Many of the communities which normally did not support Donald Trump in 2016 voted to remove him from the House of Reps. The editorial was published by Christian publishing house Tyndale House Publishers, which is home to the headquarters of Christianity Today. Today is the first time since 1912 that a Republican presidential candidate has failed to get less than 40% of the vote since 1912 to get the nomination for the White House. It is also the first year that the Republican Party has lost a presidential candidate to the Democratic Party in a presidential election since 1988.
The term is now also used in other countries for regions with higher religious participation, such as Australia and the United Kingdom, where it is used to refer to a region with a higher percentage of evangelical Protestants than the nation’s average. The earliest known usage of the term was by American journalist and social commentator H. L. Mencken, who in 1924 wrote in the Chicago Daily Tribune: \”The old game, I suspect, is beginning to play out in the Bible Belt. \” In 1927, mencken claimed the term as his invention. According to Stephen W. Tweedie, an Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography at Oklahoma State University, the Bible belt is now viewed in terms of numerical concentration of the audience for religious television. He finds two belts: one more eastern that stretches from Florida, through Alabama, Tennessee,. Kentucky, Georgia, the Carolinas, and into Southside Virginia; and another concentrated in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana,, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Mississippi. There is also a Bible belt in the western suburbs of Chicago, centered on Wheaton College, and Christian colleges in that region include Good News Publishers, Northern Baptist Seminary, and Tynehurst College. A study was commissioned by the American Bible Society to survey the importance of the Bible in the metropolitan areas of the U States. The report was based on 42,855 interviews conducted between 2005 and 2012. It determined the 10 most Bible-minded cities were Knoxville, Tennessee; Shreveport, Louisiana; Chattanooga, Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama.