Let me explain something to you: the directions to my ancesteral home include ‘turn off the paved road.’
I learned to drive a tractor about the same time I learned how to walk.
I can shoot, spit, belch, clean wild game, plant crops, prune trees, saddle a horse, sing Hank Williams songs, shear a sheep, and can my own tomatoes.
I am a redneck. And rather proud of it, thank you very much.
One of the things about being a redneck is you have a great respect for your elders, who transmit the Gospel through word and action. And that don’t take place in the white clapboard buildings as much as they take place in the home and around the hearth.
Stories over Sunday dinner table, piled high with fried chicken and enchiladas, is hearing the Gospel. Riding shotgun in the pickup truck that’s piled high with bags of food to the needy, that’s living the Gospel. Picking up a crying child and hugging her and making her laugh, even if she’s your hated cousin’s baby, born out of wedlock to that useless fool she married, that’s being the Gospel.
That’s the theology I grew up with. Now, my Redneck Theology probably won’t be taught in no seminaries. Which makes some people think it’s not as good as theirs, because it doesn’t come from highly educated people who spend their lives locked up in small rooms in academic halls.
Well, sheeit. That’s no skin off my nose. You just sit up there and pass judgement on whether or not my theology is worthy or not ’cause I dangle a participle here or there. I don’t got no time to debate theosis versus gnosis, hon, I’ve got God’s Work to do. You also sit up there and pass judgement on my family, our way of life, call it dark and narrow-minded. I know plenty of kids from the middle-class leftist suburbs who got disowned and abandoned to the streets when they came out of the closet.
My right-wing, mostly Republican, proudly redneck family still opens their arms and welcomes me home to the Ranch with no reservations.