Sunday, August 12, 2012
being in the states for a few weeks, i was struck by the visible increase in christian fundamentalism all around in the upper midwest. there have always been a few anti-choice signs here and there, and my hometown of 1300 has 12 churches, but there are more and more aggressive bible verses lining the highways and byways and christianity just seems to be much more in your face.
but i found this nail-studded cross west of the town where i grew up most disturbing. apparently, with 12 churches in a town of 1300, the youth groups have banded together into one and they erected this cross on the edge of a cornfield west of town. the large, rusty nails represent the sins of the young people in town.
and it strikes me as extremely violent and aggressive. and i wonder how a bunch of kids in small town south dakota can possibly have so many sins. what on earth are they? sex? drinking? playing hooky from school, the odd joint? hello, these are normal teenage issues - not giant nails on a cross. and to display them in such a harsh way, what good can that possibly do?
i'm more than a little worried about the aggressive tone christianity has taken on in the US in the years of my chosen exile. it seems to me not all that different from the sort of fundamentalist leaning of which all of islam is accused because a few choose to be extreme. when extremism comes to a small town in south dakota, what do we have left?
for more on this, read what frank bruni says about michele bachman and her ilk of the religious right here.