9/1/13

I Saw the Cross in Hattiesburg

English: Entrance area at Hattiesburg Zoo, Hat...
English: Entrance area at Hattiesburg Zoo, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As long as I have lived in Mississippi, I have been completely fascinated by the irresistible urge some evangelical Christians seem to have to carry large crosses down what are usually busy streets while telling themselves that they are "doing it for Jesus." Not surprisingly, I was thrilled to learn about the #msglowingforchrist hashtag on Twitter. Finally learning something about what it was and why it was happening only added to the enjoyment. And now, dear reader, I am happy to report that I have seen the spectacle with my own eyes.

At a little after 9:00 am yesterday morning, I was driving east on Highway 98 in Hattiesburg. I was in the far right lane when I noticed flashing police lights on the west bound side up ahead. From a distance, it looked like there had been an accident. Traffic was moving slowly, and the flashing lights were hard to miss. "I hope nobody's hurt," I thought. As I got closer, I could make out what looked like two police motorcycles on either side of a pickup truck.

The pickup was traveling very slowly and had a few people running behind it in the street. It looked like some sort of a race except that there weren't nearly enough people running. I could only see what looked like a handful, and nobody was trailing behind. And that was when I finally saw it. There was a large cross sitting in the back of the pickup.

I grabbed for my phone, hoping to snap a picture. But I was going way too fast, and my turn was right there. I nearly ended up driving off the road. My only consolation is that I was far enough away that the picture wouldn't have looked like much anyway.

So yes, I got to see yet another group of Mississippi Christians drawing attention to their ridiculous superstitions by disrupting traffic and pointlessly making a spectacle of themselves. While it would have been far more impressive if they had been carrying the cross like usual instead of running behind a pickup carrying it, I'll take it.

From what I read in the hashtag search, it really sounds as though many Mississippi Christians think that this Mississippi Glowing for Christ is a great thing and that Jesus would approve of their carting replicas of his means of execution through our state. I wonder how many non-Christians who saw the cross passing by in the back of that pickup will come forward to pretend to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

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