Grace Baptist Church and God's Commandments
The tractor trailer drivers – the big 18 wheeler truckers – have been unanimously positive, with waves, honks, and peace signs! At least 9 to zero positive!
In Alabama, I’ve gotten 22 yeahs, 3 thumbs down (they’re much more polite here to my face!) and only 1 fuck you again, this time from a trucker – boooooo!
I pull into a truckers stop & spot a white van with ‘Grace Baptist Church’ written on the sides parked a couple of spaces away. Only the driver is present as I hop down from my truck, and I feel hostile vibes coming my way.
I spend time inside, leafleting the bathroom & getting hot water for tea. When I’m ready to leave, I notice the whole congregation seems to be heading toward the van & the white man standing there, who is motioning for them to read my truck. He doesn’t appear to see me, but they all mull around reading and muttering to each other.
I get in my truck, back out, and drive over to where they are all standing. It is odd to see so many white folks together here in Alabama – it has seemed that most of the folks on the road & in the store are African American.
I’ve been seeing these billboards down I20 – there are all solid black with white writing – and they are signed ‘god’. There was one in southern California a couple years back that I spotted that said “what part of ‘thou shalt not kill’ don’t you understand?” and it was signed “God”.
On this trip I’ve seen several: one said “Come to my house before you watch the game this Sunday morning”; and “They’re not suggestions; They’re commandments” – all signed “God”
So I approach this group of Christians and much to their chagrin, I say “Hi! Are you the Grace Baptists that are putting up those billboards all along the highway?” Of course, they are all unsure of what I’m talking about, let alone unsure about talking to me at all. I explain “you know, those billboards that say ‘they’re not suggestions, they’re commandments’ and are signed ‘God’. And I think they say ‘Grace Baptist Church’ across the bottom?”
I reiterate: “Are you the Grace Baptist Church folks that believe the commandments are commandments & not suggestions, like ‘thou shalt not kill?’
I can tell they don’t want to answer; they’re shuffling their feet & looking at one another. One brave, pale, older woman (although that could identify all of them except for the female part) smiles broadly and informs me there are probably more Grace Baptist Churches in the country than Dairy Queens…. Hmmmm.
I ask again, if they are not that Grace Baptist, are they christians who believe ‘thou shalt not kill’ is a commandment or a suggestion? They kind of smile smugly as they pile into their van, so obviously avoiding my question. The woman who spoke to me kind of waves her hand dismissively over her ear in a good-bye!
Maybe they’ll think about it. Off to Tessie’s!!!! yeah – almost to Georgia & losing another hour – I’ll be on east coast time! Peace, sam