Bible-Thumping in the Buckeye State

Monday, March 5, 2012

When people call Ohio the Bible Belt, I always roll my eyes. "This isn't Alabama!" I want to tell them (& sometimes do). As Twitter may have informed you, though, I spent last weekend in Ohio visiting my grandma in the rehab center she's just moved into, & I had more than a few run-ins with crazy Bible-thumping in my beloved home state.

For starters, the big one: Rick Santorum visited Lima, where my grandmother lives, on Saturday. Speaking to 700 Republicans, he promised not to avoid God-talk during his campaign & vowed that "on the first day of his presidency, he would repeal every regulation enacted by Obama's administration," indicating that he may actually have no idea how government works. The front page of today's Lima News boasted the headline, "PRAYING FOR A WIN," featuring a little boy with hands clasped, presumably asking God to send Santorum to the Oval Office. I even saw a few Santorum for President (shudder!) yard signs. For the first time in my life, I found myself missing George W. Bush, but don't repeat that to anyone. Damn you, Ohio.

While at Walmart on Sunday evening shopping for track suits for my grandmother (true story), I passed a display of workout DVDs, including this gem:

WHY DOES THIS EXIST? How do religion & exercise relate in any way? I used to read a blog written by a young woman who was training to become a Christian yoga instructor. Not like she was Christian & a yoga instructor; like, she was becoming an instructor of Christian yoga, which is a fairly baffling concept. Apparently this is a real thing? Or so says that blogger, now confirmed Walmart.

And finally, on our drive back to New Hampshire (which will be happening for the next 10 hours or so, by the way), I spotted a billboard advertising BibleWalk, "Ohio's only life-size wax museum." Walking tours take visitors through dioramas of Bible stories, including wax worlds such as Miracles of the Old Testament, Life of Christ, Museum of Christian Martyrs  and Heart of the Reformation. Dude, I don't care what your beliefs are: You can't tell me this doesn't sound at least mildly terrifying.

Whew. I love me some Buckeye State, but I'm not too disappointed to be headed back to religiously apathetic New Hampshire, where I can be a Reform Jew in peace, & others can practice whatever they practice sans billboards & headlines. Live free or die, kids. 

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