One of the more hilarious quirks about religious life in America is the strange obsession with numbers. This story my friend Ross sent me the other day is a perfect example :
If you turn to the Bible — Isaiah Chapter 35, Verse 8 — you will see a passage that in part says, “A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.”
Now, is it possible that this “highway” mentioned in Chapter 35 is actually Interstate 35 that runs through six U.S. states, from southern Texas to northern Minnesota? Some Christians have faith that is indeed the case.
. . .
Some of the faithful believe that in order to fulfill the prophecy of I-35 being the “holy” highway, it needs some intensive prayer first. So we watched as about 25 fervent and enthusiastic Christians prayed on the the interstate’s shoulder in Dallas.
They chanted loudly and vibrantly, making many people in the neighborhood wonder what was going on. They prayed that adult businesses along the corridor would “see the light” and perhaps close down.
Did somebody forget to tell them that the “I” stands for Interstate, not “Isaiah”? It seems so bizarre that the fruits of the Interstate Highway System would take on some sort of religious significance, while equally important infrastructure improvements like Rural Electrification Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority barely get any mentions on the pulpit. Then again, there’s a dark side to I-35 getting the same sort of devotion that’s normally reserved for curious-shaped potato chips and Christ-like water stains.
Jacobs also points out that perhaps there is a link between the area near this highway and tragedies that have happened in history, such as the bridge collapse on I-35 in Minneapolis last August and the assassination of JFK 44 years ago near I-35 in Dallas. That’s why prayer certainly can’t hurt, she adds.
Now, it’s only fair to say most people, the religious and the non-religious alike, don’t buy any of this, but none more than the owners of some of the adult businesses along I-35.
Highway to Heaven? More like Highways of Agony.