Living In A Land of Paradox

The American Deep South is a fascinating place. Known as the “Bible Belt” for the prevalence of fundamentalist Evangelicals, it also has a violent history from the mid-20th Century and the Civil Rights movement.

I went to grad school at Louisiana State receiving an introduction to the South.

We drove to Florida last week. I noticed once again that Georgia is the land of billboards. That state may have more billboards per mile of Interstate highway than any other. If you take away the billboards advertising restaurants and hotels, you are left with two types of advertising.

Porn shops / strippers and Bible quotes.

Not that we don’t have porn shops in Ohio. I used to work out of a building beside one. But there just isn’t that amount of advertising. It’s as if we’re still a little ashamed to be appealing to the base lusts of men. (And sex trafficking is rampant in Ohio along with all the states. People just aren’t aware of it.)

Bible verses are good, of course. The thing I notice is that they seem to scream at you accusingly. Of course, all of us need to be accused for our thoughts and deeds that are not in keeping with the faith.

It’s just the paradox that gets me.

Do those Bible verses do any good?

What does it take to change someone’s direction? They were going off the exit toward a porn shop and suddenly decided to stop at the church next door. Why?

When you meet someone and the subject gets personal, can you get away with just quoting a Bible verse?

Probably not. It takes a deeper, longer conversation. Perhaps over a cup (or pot) of coffee. It takes time. Listening. Then you could pull out a passage and show how it applies directly to life.

You gotta show you care. A quick verse or an accusation won’t do anyone any good.

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