Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Few Simple Observations Among Conservative Christian Neighbourhoods...

I've lived in many different places. Several countries, and many, many different towns and cities. In some places you don't really notice the political culture, in other places it is blatantly obvious. I've lived in places where the majority of the residents vote liberal and where the majority vote conservative. I find that when you live in a place where more than about 60% of the residents vote a particular way, it becomes noticeable in the culture of the area. I've also lived in areas where the particular religious culture is not evident; multicultural cities like Vancouver, Montreal, and London. I've also lived in places where almost everyone is of one religion - such as the so-called Bible Belt in both America and Canada. Often, or perhaps even typically, an area that is very Christian in its religious culture, it is conservative in its political culture. All of this experience has given me an opportunity to make a few observations that I find interesting to note when I spend time in an area in which the political and/or religious culture is distinct:

More churches. Kind of a no-brainer, but there are churches on every street corner in some Bible Belt areas. One wonders why the economy of scale lesson never caught on amongst church goers.

More pick up trucks and hummers. Not sure why pick up trucks are so popular amongst conservative voters and Christians. Do they need a large vehicle to carry Bibles? 

More mullets.

More trashy-dressed women. One might expect to see more, well, conservatively dressed women in conservative Christian areas. But you don't. You see way more tights, thongs, and high heels.

More facial hair. Without a doubt, conservatives grow more facial hair than liberals.

More people willing to mock runners. When I go for a recreational run in a predominantly liberal area, I never have a comment hurled at me from a passing car. In predominantly conservative areas it happens at least 20 - 30% of the time I run. Once, when riding my bicycle in a very conservative neighbourhood, I had someone slow down and lean out their truck window to yell: "You fucking pinko faggot!"

More guns. Guns are everywhere in conservative neighbourhoods. I've met teenagers carrying rifles in town. I've noticed way more gun ranges in conservative and Christian areas than in liberal ones. I can't say I've evern noticed that having more guns in a neighbourhood reduces the amount of violent or non-violent crime. Some might even make the outrageous hypothesis that the more guns there are in a society, the more likelihood it is that you will get shot.

More cheap coffee. Don't know what it is about conservatives, but they do enjoy drinking weak brown water rather than good coffee.

More dog shit. I do a fair bit of walking, hiking, and running for recreation. Without fail, there is far more dog shit in public parks and on sidewalks in conservative and Christian areas than in liberal ones. I do not see more dogs in these areas (in fact I would say there are fewer dogs actually out walking and more tied up in back yards), leading me to make conclusions about dog ownership rather than dog populations.

Fewer boutique shops and more box stores.

Draw your own conclusions.

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