2013-09-24 – When we drive through rural Iowa and Illinois, we often stay clear of the interstates. We like the scenery and it is interesting to see all the towns. Our country is more than rows of stories-high signs for national brands of gas, lodging, and fast food.
Driving through rural Iowa and Illinois on the old state routes, you see banks and fire stations and town halls and local grocery stores and fraternal organizations and bars and restaurants. And churches. You see a lot of churches. It is a testament to the faith of the people of the heartland.
Or is it?
The thing is: these towns are really small. Not many people live in each town. So there is one grocery story, two restaurants, one grade school and one high school. But there might be a half dozen churches or more!
Could it be that these hard working folks can get together on pretty much everything else in their communal lives, but not their religion?
And, to me, a Jew, it is a mystery how there can be so many denominations of Christianity. (Of course, the divisions within Judaism seem perfectly clear.)