Godless in Dixie puts it so well….


Nothing I can add, really


10 thoughts on “Godless in Dixie puts it so well….

  1. It is sad that it should be so difficult to grow up and become an adult in the famous Bible belt of the USA.
    That’s what he’s really saying, isn’t it? Not that he broke up with Jesus, rather that he mistook the Bible for a telephone directory.
    It’s a bit like somebody complaining that after having studied the BT directory for twenty years, he was disappointed to have learned so little about human nature, its weaknesses and its aspirations.

    • At first I was surprised to read that you thought that the Bible had nothing to do with being a Christian, then it dawned on me – in this context you’re absolutely right! The Bible has virtually nothing to do with Bible belt Christianity. Consequently, it has nothing to do with the version of Christ that GiD broke up with. He stopped believing the stories he had been told, and didn’t even bother sending Jesus a “Dear John” text message.

      Yep – you’re dead right on that one, Frances.

  2. That’s not what I meant. But of course you know that.

    GiD’s story is not about a man reading the Bible. It’s about a man who believed he had a relationship with a real, living person. Then he realises that he’s making all the running. Where’s the reciprocity? Nowhere, because there is no-one to reciprocate.

  3. He got the idea of an invisible friend from people who told him tales they got from the Bible. His unanswered phone calls are just part of his story. Without the background of the Bible, and preachers, and cultural bilge, he would have to have found himself a different invisible friend.

  4. About a different invisible friend? In part, yes, I was actually. But mainly I was wondering how you can speak with such authority about what he believed and why he believed it. I haven’t found the answer in the “about” section (which I had already looked at).

    And I’m still trying to work out that telephone book analogy. So he didn’t actually read the phone book? Other people read the phone book to him?

    • 1. It seemed to me that GiD’s extended metaphor was standard fare for the culture in which he grew up. In fact, I’m sure of it, since his story resonates with so many people with similar backgrounds.
      2. GiD’s version of “what a pal we have in Jesus” is historically very recent. For centuries, very erudite scholars had been reading and interpreting the various books that together make up the collection called The Bible, and they never taught that Jesus was just like a mate you can call up on the phone when you need him.
      This, however, is evidently the version that is taught in bible belt circles. It sweetens the bitter pill of “inerrancy”.
      Using the Bible to justify this recent version of Jesus was doomed to failure, precisely because people like GiD found it failing.
      If I read the Yellow Pages looking for insight into art and poetry, even though some fundamentalist Yellow Pager had told me that I would find lots of artists and poets in it, I would probably be equally disappointed. Call it a literary category error, if you will.

      Oh – and sounding authoritative is one of my congential defects. Sorry about that.

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