Tuesday, September 12, 2006

“Paganized Small Town America?”

What is going on in small towns???

Lanesboro, MN: A few months ago Lindsey and I stayed at a B&B in Lanesboro, MN. It’s known to be a small “artsy” town. On the surface you might think that it is pretty innocent. Well, it’s not innocent at all. It used to be [from what I gather] a small German and Amish settlement and mainly agrarian. Well, if the shops on main street are any indication of what it is now, I would say it is a secular/pagan/wiccan/with some Christianish influence thrown in for good measure.

Well, you’d think, “that’s just Lanesboro, MN,” well no, it’s not!

Eureka Springs, AR: We were just in Eureka Springs, AR and we saw the same kind of “artsy” small town. Only this is in the “Bible Belt”. Well we saw some of the most pagan shops you could imagine. From native American spiritual gifts complete with mixtures of teas for healing…to homosexual themed ornaments…to witches that are clearly a “niche” market. The strange thing is that there appears to be a Wiccan influence taking root in these small towns by what the stores are selling. One of the clearest marks of this is the mainstreaming of things like stuffed animals [witches], decorations [nudity all over the place] and cards. These cards have witches and fairies as themes. Weird! These aren’t like tinker bell from a Disney movie…these fairies and witches clearly convey a deeper “spiritual” message. I bought a pair of shoes at a more “mainstream” store and the woman who sold them to me had a pentagram tattooed on her hand. Also, the incense was so strong in the stores that my brother in law's allergies were going nuts. With all the smells it was almost like I was back in India with all the incense.

What’s going on?

These themes probably don’t fairly generalize the entire towns of Eureka Springs and Lanesboro, but I’m trying to figure out what is going on here.

Why did I get this impression? It’s almost like as the population has left some people have revitalized the town and made it a “tourist trap” and somehow hippies and some of these occult things have moved in.

About an hour away is the Rogers/Bentonville area. The main question that pops into my mind is, “Are they sending missionaries from these 5,000 plus congregations to reach these small towns?” They need to hear the gospel in contrast to Tibetan Buddhism, Native American Pantheism, Wicca, etc.

Have you guys observed this in other small towns you’ve been to? If yes, which ones? I’m just curious.

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