I live in small town USA, so I’m told. Here in rural Virginia, we’re surrounded by farmland. Crops that are dedicated entirely to peanuts, corn, soybeans—and my county is one of the largest suppliers of cotton. With a population of no more than five hundred, a few family-owned businesses, four churches, one stop light, and the nearest shopping mall a thirty mile drive, it’s safe to say we’re smaller than most. I’ve spent most of my childhood here and, with neighbors knowing neighbors, I grew to love the security it provided. When you were in need, you were helped. It didn’t matter for what, someone always would step up.
Growing up in the South, there are advantages to being surrounded by profound history. Heritage is something that is nothing short of identity for many I have known over the years, even if I never shared that feeling. With both of my parents originally from Upstate New York, there was always a disconnect to how strongly rooted those around me were. But I was raised in a fundamentalist church and it was common to see signs of that southern identity everywhere.
“Dixie” was sung for special occasions, and shouting and cheers about how “the South will rise again” regularly occured during Sunday evening services. The Rebel Flag was worn on lapels and Stonewall Jackson’s prayers were recited. Sermons dedicated to America returning to the God that She had turned Her back on were constant. Old Glory, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and General Robert E. Lee… [Read more…] about God, Guns, and Grieving