Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Size is Everything, Even In Church
A couple of years ago I was headed to a friend's house for an evening of beer and poetry (an interesting combination truth be told) and noticed in the directions that my friend had written "turn left at Saint Hiney's Big A** Church." (ok, for the record, there is no St. Hiney and no St. Hiney's Big A** Church. I'm all about the deniability - but he also didn't use the Asterisks either)
At first I laughed at the idea of a church which worshiped large posteriors, (Please, no letters, either for or against the idea of a church which worships any body part) but then we came to the intersection and there off to the side was what I first thought was a business complex. Several connected buildings and a parking lot the size of the Mall of America, hey, it even had its own traffic signal! Then I saw the main building with its spire and the sign "St. Hiney's" and I knew that the description my friend had given me was not the "TYPE" of church, but a description of its size relative to, well, the universe.
Thanks to Google I found a picture of St. Hiney's (remember, not the real name) and I've posted it above. The size is incredible. You can see how huge it is...the main center building and the buildings off to the left there which all are tied together with more buildings and corridors. But that's not all. Here is a picture panned a bit to the right, and what do you see? MORE CHURCH!
That big plantation style building is connected to the church as is the area in between, and by the paint job, I'm guessing there are more buildings out behind it which are also part of this sprawling complex. It may actually spread into the next county, no one is really sure where it ends.
I'm not opposed to Big A** churches, and I'm most certainly not opposed to Big A**s themselves. The reason I bring them up here, is that here in the south, Big A*** Churches seem to be the norm. The bigger the better. (Churches, not A**s)
Nashville is, of course, referred to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt. Now for you that have never heard the term, the Bible Belt refers to a region of the US which covers most of the south, in which studies have found a higher number of regular church attendance per capita. Why Nashville is the Buckle of this belt is for exactly the reason you might expect. Big A** Churches. More shinier, rambling, Big A** churches than most anywhere else in the bible belt, even Atlanta.
So, the next time you're out driving and happen to find yourself in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, be sure to take notice of the Big A** Churches. You can take note of the Big A**s you see, but don't tell anyone I told you to. I have to keep up my reputation, y'know...