I interpreted Danielle Ayers and Lydia Bean’s “Reimagining the Bible Belt” (July 2015) as a reminder to myself and other progressives that we need to stop distancing ourselves from our Southern identity. Indeed, the “laborers are few” and, at times, it’s tempting to leave the South to its ghosts. But our community is growing as we learn to successfully negotiate the legacy of the Old South with a prophetic theology. It is those who are daring to reimagine the Bible Belt that are transforming our region.
Ironically, it was not until I moved deeper into the Bible Belt, from South Carolina to Texas, that I began to cultivate a loyalty to the South. I have never been more proud to claim the South as my own than after working alongside others in El Paso, Texas, to welcome and accompany the immigrant and refugee communities. The authors demonstrate that while we work in the margins, we are not marginalized; our networks continue to develop as we invite others to join us in prophetic witness.
Columbia, South Carolina