Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sidewalk Preachers.....

During my one year at UGA, I observed “street preachers” (I’m not sure what the correct name is) on several occasions. The best description I can think of is that they are a combination between a television evangelist and Jerry Springer. These preachers were actually mean though. They stood on wooden platforms outside of the student center and would “call out” specific students. For example, if a girl in a short skirt walked by, they would comment on her attire and her sinfulness. I never understood what they were hoping to accomplish with their condemnation and fire and brimstone ranting.

In my hometown there are some men who also scream/preach for the public outside of Burger King and Family Dollar. Anyway weekend before last I went home, and my sister and I had a cook out for my mother’s birthday. My step-sister has recently gotten engaged, and this was the first time her fiancé came to one of our immediate family get-togethers. She has seemingly been trying to avoid the fiancé’s introduction to our craziness. That’s kind of understandable, although I’m a big fan of full disclosure when marriage is at issue. She’s a few years older than me though and already been married once, so I guess it’s different.

So brother-in-law Billy Bob* had started drinking Jack and Coke around 5:30. So naturally he was loud and somewhat irrational. So religion came up because my step-sister is becoming a Methodist now, and we started recalling a big discussion we’d had several years before about the topic. I don’t remember the specifics, but basically I got a headache and left the room; my step-sister said you could pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to believe; and my younger sister cried on her drive home because she thought my step-sister and I were going to hell. It was a fun night.

So I posed one conversation for the group: “How do you think a person ‘gets’ to Heaven?” I think this is a pretty simple question for a group of Christians, but my step-sister and her fiancé kind of balked--granted this isn't a typical conversation so somewhat understandably. Well this was just the opportunity brother-in-law Billy Bob was waiting for as he nursed his Budweiser from his recliner. Billy Bob raised his beer in the air and began to preach with the fervor that only a drunk, non-practicing Baptist can. I actually agree with most of what he said and jokingly offered to take him down to the local Family Dollar to share the gospel with “cruisers.” After that experience I’m sure my step-sister is glad that she waited until after the wedding was planned for the fiancé’s family initiation. Good times and the best hope you can have for entertainment in my hometown.

7 comments:

Flat Coke and Flies said...

only in the south....

Anonymous said...

Now I understand why your dad told you never to debate religion. Dr RJJ(Ridge)

kimberly said...

The way you describe 'billy bob' makes me think of someone on that show "my name is earl" - which is a funny show by the way :)
p.s. btw, thanks for the prayers today - I have decided I just need a vacation. Canary Islands? are you up for it?

Ally said...

Kimberly: I am always up for a trip to Spain, and I love the Canary Islands! I'm in if we can swing by Cadiz too, but I may not join you for the return trip:) After taking a sick day on Friday, I realize that I'm overdue for a vacation too--I totally didn't want to come back today.

Dr. Ridge: I personally enjoyed the religion rant by Billy Bob, so I'm glad I didn't follow my dad's advice.

Flat coke: I like to think that us southerners have a certain "charm."

cdp said...

We had the street preachers in Charleston, too; and I share in your observation as to the very, very little amount of sense their tactics often made. Seems to me it would be much more effective, if you are willing to stand on a corner and proclaim your faith to everyone who walks by, to do it in a way that mirrors the true precept of the Christian faith - Jesus LOVES you! (Not Jesus thinks your skirt is too short!)
-cindy-

Aaron said...

Your blog works wonders for Calhoun tourism. No wonder you don't return to C-town much.

kathrynthomas said...

i think you read my blog about being "evangelized via tract". if not, email me, and i'll point you in the right direction.

good post. i enjoyed the, "Billy Bob raised his beer in the air and began to preach with the fervor that only a drunk, non-practicing Baptist can," line. ha.