Monday, April 4, 2011

Bible Belt!

I’m sort of cheating today. I am regurgitating an old blog  from November. Actually - after the grits, that isn’t all I have been regurgitating! Today, I finally took the photo I have been meaning to take for ages, an illustration of the proliferation of Churches here. I am in the ‘Bible Belt!’ I’m not sure such a belt is designed to hold up your metaphorical trousers or to beat non-believers with! The original blog ‘In God We Trust' was about Thanksgiving so hopefully I have edited it sufficiently for those who read the first one!

‘In God we Trust’ is on every American dollar and swearing allegiance to the flag is done as ‘one nation under God’. Just as an aside, my son’s rendition of swearing allegiance is hilarious. He knows the tune rather than the words and it is done with a total American twang! They do it every morning at school. He has to do it on a regular basis on Skype to the relatives. In England, every morning in school, the children simply swear!

A local 'T' junction!

Here, every other building is a Christian church yet religion is the one thing no one talks about (to me at least!). I expected to be invited to everyone’s church. In fact I was warned about  it before I came to the states. I was asked ‘if I had found a church yet’ when I first arrived. ‘Found a Church’ – it’s like not being able to see the wood for the trees! There is a church on every corner. I’d be hard pushed to find a road without a house of God on it! Which one is he in? I said I wasn’t looking – or at least I was averting my eyes! That person didn’t speak to me again! I recently told a friend my son was ‘a devil child’. This was during lunch with her strict Jehovah Witness mother. She hasn’t returned emails since! A neighbour asked my daughter to join their family for a Sunday morning church session but I declined on her behalf. They knew we did not go to Church. It seemed a little below the Bible belt to ask- to interfere with our family ‘beliefs’. I suppose I should be thankful that they are not persistent. Maybe we are left alone because I have something of the devil about me -beyond saving!
Every Sunday at around it is best not to be out and about on the roads. The blessed and forgiven are unleashed, straight from church into the 'Golden Corral' buffet Sunday!
Religion seems to impinge on our lives here in a way that it never did in Britain. In the UK the minority go to Church. Here, in the area we find our selves in, it is the majority. My 5 year old son was reprimanded in our home by another 5 year old for saying 'Oh my God!' Gosh is allowed. I have no idea why 'God' isn't! I don't suppose Jesus H f**king Christ would go down too well. I had to tell the small guest that 'God' was allowed in our house (even if we never expect a visit!) I seriously thought about telling the school my family religion is Wicca – Taking the children to the UK has led to me receiving an official letter from the School board as they have missed 10 unauthorised days of school. The only excuse for such absence it seems is 'religious observance'. The Wiccan calendar seems to have the most festivals I can claim to be observing to justify any future absence. It helps that my son is obsessed with witches at the moment! There’s a full moon on April 14th when I next intend to take them out of school. Wicca it is!
The 'Yellow Pages' listing for Churches is just mad. Under each heading is a huge list of individual churches. The headings include Presbyterian, Presbyterian Evangelical, First Baptist, United Methodist, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal Zion, Assemblies of God, Baptist Free Will, Baptist independent, Baptist missionary, Baptist southern… this list goes on and on and they have the Pilgrim Fathers to thank for that! Religious freedom - as long as it is from a cut of the right cloth!

And now for the repeat bit:
It reminded me of a Monty Python sketch in the Life of Brian. You know the one where they are in secret anti Roman groups…. I have changed just some of the words and names (all the swearing is original Monty Python!)…

The Life of STRANGER
STRANGER: Are you the Zion Baptist Missionary Church?
CHUCK: Fuck off!
CHUCK:  Zion Baptist Missionary Church? We're the Missionary Baptist Church of Zion! Zion Baptist Missionary Church. Cawk.
BOB: Wankers.
STRANGER: Can I... join your church?
CHUCK: No. Piss off.
STRANGER: Hey. I don’t want to commit sin. They make me do it. I hate the Devil as much as anybody.
MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH of ZION (M.B.C.Z.): Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhh. Shh. Shhhh.
CHUCK: Stumm.
TAMMY: Are you sure?
STRANGER: Oh, dead sure. I hate the Devil already.
CHUCK: Listen. If you wanted to join the M.B.C.Z, you'd have to really hate the Devil…  and Catholics.
CHUCK: Oh, yeah? How much?
CHUCK: Right. You're in. Listen. The only people we hate more than the Devil are the fucking Zion Baptist Missionary Church
M.B.C.Z.: Yeah...
TAMMY: Splitters.
M.B.C.Z: Splitters...
BOB: And the Zion Missionary Bible Baptist Church
M.B.C.Z : Yeah. Oh, yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
LORETTA: And the Missionary Baptist Church of Zion.
M.B.C.Z : Yeah. Splitters. Splitters...
CHUCK: What?
LORETTA: Missionary Baptist Church of Zion. Splitters.
CHUCK: We're the Missionary Baptist Church of Zion!
LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Episcopal Baptists.
CHUCK: Episcopal Baptists! C-huh.
BOB: Whatever happened to the Episcopal Baptists, Chuck?
CHUCK: He's over there.
M.B.C.Z: Splitter!

It has been tough enough choosing a Doctor, school and Hairdresser. Thank God I’m an atheist and I don’t have to decide who to entrust my soul to whilst in America!

I read a rather unpleasant local debate about the US army, atheists and religion today - I am shocked at just how bigoted the conservative right are - There is even a radio station that spouts utter hatred all day long against anything that doesn't fit with their right wing 'christian values' - mostly atheists, liberals and homosexuals.
There was a touch of humour in the local debate - someone posted this link to You tube -
Someone on You Tube had commented: God gave us a sense of humor, but I'm fairly sure God would not find this humorous. See what you think!


  1. Jesus H f*****g christ on a bike, and Amen to that sister!

  2. Funny , but what a load of sh... So glad i am an atheist