August 15, 2005

To be Conservative, or not to be ...

I heard today that Lubbock, Texas was voted the #2 most conservative town in the nation. I used to live in that area, and old friends are doing a little happy dance of pride over this fact. Abilene, Texas was voted #3 (another area in which I used to reside).

So, it got me to thinking (I know what you're saying, "Oh no!"). I have lived my entire life, smack in the middle of the BELT BUCKLE of the Bible belt. Out here "everyone" goes to church. At my small, Christian college, students would sometimes skip church, wake up late, DRESS for church and then head to the cafeteria (so no one would be any the wiser). There were no arguments about the Ten Commandments or prayer in school, because everyone was okay with it. Church, church, church, church, CHURCH! That was our battle cry!

Yet our bark was worse than our bite. You see, when I look back at the places I've lived, I can easily rate the Lubbock area as the #1 openly racist place I've experienced in my state. The Abilene area would be a tight #2.

People in those areas would laugh in the face of recycling.

They support family farms, but only for the purposes of "their family members in farming" making more money. They weren't concerned with our health or the environment.

They blindly trust everyone in politics that label themselves a "Christian," and lambast anyone who doesn't.

They're Republican.

The list goes on ...

Most of them, by reading this, might actually be horrified if they come to the realization that I have voted Democrat in the past (can you hear it? The audible gasp?). I'm a closet who-the-heck-knows. I prefer the labels "Christian" ... and "American." Beyond that, it gets hazy for me.

So, in the America that I know, should I be proud to live in an ultra-conservative area? What exactly does that mean, and is it a good thing? Does it throw us all back to an Old Testament tail spin, just trying to keep up with the law? Does it tilt us too far in one direction? Don't you love how I do that - just throwing out the questions and putting the ball in your court? It's a gift, ya' know.

My new favorite quote is from a fellow blogger, Boomerific, who says, "I'm a bad liberal, and even worse conservative."

That's me.

What are you?