Monday, April 26, 2010

Do I live in the Bible Belt?

From Wikipedia: Bible Belt is an informal term for an area of the United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a dominant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is extremely high

Discussion at lunch on our way home from South Carolina, somewhere in Mississippi.

We stopped at a restaurant on a Sunday at noontime and I comment that we would be competing with the church crowd to get a table. As a native of the North and recent convert to the South, my mother in law speaks up and says she doesn't think she could handle living in the Bible Belt and she has noted all of the Baptist churches on our driving travels through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. And then I started chuckling because she doesn't realize that she now LIVES in the Bible Belt and I explain this to her. And then my husband dares to disagree. So I whip out my Iphone and Safari it and find a US map of the states that are in the Bible Belt.

My husband who indeed must find his reading glasses to see this, says there is yellow at the bottom of LA - "we are not in there". I scramble to prove that yes, indeedy we are in the Bible Belt. I do not have all of this religious baggage for nothing. I don't have firm visions of a fiery hell, have witnessed persons speaking in tongues, been told that I'm a sinner repeatedly, nor have sat through altar calls to be goaded to come down front to be saved, to be told, I live outside of the Bible Belt! I search frantically and find that New Orleans is not included because they are primarily Catholic, maybe that is the yellow. I cannot find a better map or description, wouldn't a larger IPad screen help this search and my case?! And then... I stop and think, it doesn't really matter, if I feel like I grew up in the Bible belt, then I did, no need to fight about this!! See that therapy is coming in hand. (But seriously, Baton Rouge is definitely in there.)

Cut to Kathy Griffin's show in Biloxi, MS. George and I have gotten away for a night to celebrate our 14th Anniversary. Kathy cracks a joke about her friends warning her not to come to the Bible Belt and perform. I totally understand.

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