Monday, January 15, 2007

My Summer in an Evangelical Gulag

From the January 2007 edition of Perigee

Lake Cumberland, one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States, stretches along the misty hills and valleys of the notorious bible belt of southern Kentucky near the Tennessee border. There the educated elite, barricaded inside fortified vacation resorts like medieval royalty seeking refuge from marauding barbarians, wile away the hours, boating and fishing and drinking bourbon on the rocks with a practiced air of ennui. Last summer I visited one such resort, and because I quickly grew weary of lounging beside a pool and chasing after my two-year old daughter (a Marie Antoinette in the making), I dared to leave our impregnable compound with its battalion of nervous security guards and journeyed into the heart of darkness where, among the winding roads and four-lane stretches of highway, there raged a cultural conflagration the likes of which I have never seen.

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