I-35: God’s Personal Highway

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.”

-Isaiah 35:8

A Repost

So, I’m having dinner over at Lynn Fellman Studios with Lynn, Genie Scott of NCSE who is in town for a conference, and a variety of friends and colleagues including the recently decorated Randy Moore. And I bring up the idea that I 35 … the main north-south interstate through the Twin Cities, the one with the recent bridge collapse, is seen by some crazy religious people as a special “god’s highway” because of the above quoted passage from Isaiah.

Remarkably, all but one (August Berkshire) of the people in the room found this too hard to believe and insisted that this must be some sort of urban myth. That people were praying to a highway because its official DOT number happen to correspond to a biblical passage that happen to mention a metaphorical road was a bit too much.

I agree. It is too much! But it is also for real! (in a surreal-this-can’t-possibly-be-real sort of way).

So I told everyone I’d get together the documentation on this and let them know the details. To those of you who know me, this can only mean one thing…. I feel a blog post coming on…

Please refer again to the scripture cited above. What does this mean?

This has been interpreted by certain Christians in the following manner:

“… this scripture gives us …. direction for our own lighting of the highway, Interstate 35. I-35: Highway of Holiness is about coordinating our efforts as a people across the nation to reclaim for the Kingdom of God what the enemy thinks is his own.”

– Light The Highway Website.

I 35, which runs from Texas to Minnesota, is seen by a number of Christians as the Highway of Holiness. This highway was the site of a 35 day long 25/7 prayer vigils, coordinated with “Radical Evangelism” events and “Purity Sieges,” a few years back.

That was then, and this is now. The I-35 Holy Highway thing continues. My memory is that the prayer vigils kept going for many many days after this initial 35 days, although perhaps sporadically. The movement does not document itself well, so it is actually rather difficult to reconstruct what they have been up to. A news report dated February 15th, 2008 notes that “The prayers continued well beyond those first 35 days….And now the movement is called Light the Highway.”

The LTH web site is here.

Here is the cinematographic version, from October 2005:

(I hate when people stand up with their arms waving around in front of me at these things. Makes it hard to see.)

One could look at the web page and see people who count themselves as “christian” organizing to do good works, and think, “OK, whatever.” But that is not, of course, what this is at all. I don’t like the explicit statement that there is one way (God’s way) and that those who travel on this highway (I-35) will be only those who follow God’s way. Look out for some crazy person showing up one day, inspired by the kind of prophesying and preaching we see in the video (above), armed with a rifle and picking off people he thinks are not sufficiently Christian. Down in Dallas or someplace.

The linkage to disaster and sinning is explicit in the writings of the Heaven’s Highway movement. There is a section of the web site called “A Call to Intercession” … (should that not be “a call to intersection?”). Here, we learn that during a prayer meeting of the organizers, God brought to their attention (wow!) all of the incidents of bloodshed that have taken place all along I-35. These include The Alamo (remember the Alamo?), the Texas tower shooting of August 1966, Waco, the Assassination of JFK, the Oklahoma City bombing, and so on, right up to the August 2007 Bridge Collapse here in My Fair City.

We are told this:

Remembering these tragedies brought to our attention the need for repentance and healing to occur along I-35. On August 15, 2006, Cindy Jacobs declared this over the cities of I-35, “This is a time of uprooting of the ancient things in my cities that have stopped My glory and power from manifesting. Uproot corruption, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, terrorism, violence and any other thing that opposes My will.” Click here to read the entire Royal road for His glory prophecy.

WTF? Oh, I “clicked here” and it is a prophecy of the Prophet Cindy Jacobs. This prophecy tells us that God tells us, through Cindy, that he wants a “royal road” as a way for him to go around anointing people and shit. Homosexuality, terrorism, and violence will be uprooted as part of this process. A siege will be laid against these things with fire and fear and such.

This ominous sentence appears within the prophesy: “I am coming with the fire of my holiness. Like in the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky, and the days of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards.”

Cane Ridge was the site of a major mass hysteria event that figured large in the so called “Second Great Awakening, which you can pretty much blame for these crazy religious people speaking in tongues and waving their hands around over their heads all the time.

So, right, this is not a group of people using a quaint biblical reference linked to a road that a lot of people live near to get together and raise money for the poor or turn out a few symbol-laden quilts. No. This is more like a group of highly delusional people preparing for a religious war.

Stay tuned.

Read about it on CNN and NPR,

Comments

  1. #1 djfav
    October 8, 2009

    I live in Austin and believe me, the people that travel on I-35 are the wicked fools. All sane people avoid it at all costs.

  2. #2 Rob Jase
    October 8, 2009

    This makes the whole ‘Mothman caused a bridge to collapse’ myth look sensible.

  3. #3 katydid13
    October 8, 2009

    I don’t think it would be that hard to put together a list of bad things that have happen along any other major highway like say I-95. Boston, New York, and Virgina are all linked by I-95 and all are connected with the 9/11 attachs. I believe the Washington Sniper shootings all occured inside the Beltway, which is I-95 around DC.

    Of course, these points make is seem like I-95 is hell, not God’s road. Actually, I think many people in this country would agree that if there were a hell it would like I-95 in rush hour in the summer with an overturned semi carrying something smelly.

    Has the craziness gotten worse or do we just hear about it now because of the internet and 24 hour news channels?

  4. #4 Jared
    October 8, 2009

    Hell is Cerro de la Muerte on a foggy/rainy day.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_de_la_Muerte
    Note: Anyone who’s driven in Costa Rica can vouch for the sanity of the drivers (or complete insanity). Passing three wide on a two lane highway around a blind curve of a switchback… That’s just the beginning; before going back to the airport, my girlfriend had a pint of guaro (local rotgut) to keep from having a panic attack in the car like she did on our trip from the airport. Guaro is a necessary therapy for any passengers not experienced as passengers on a Circuit de Monaco F1 race.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    October 8, 2009

    katydid13, there’s definitely an element of how far and easily news travels to all of this. Of course, that means that these sorts of things have an easier time reaching the credulous portion of the audience too.

  6. #6 SplendidMonkey
    October 8, 2009

    I get my kicks on route 666.

  7. #7 Jared
    October 8, 2009

    How long before someone mentions something obscene about I-69?

    Also, it’s now Highway 491, not Route 666.

  8. #8 RSG
    October 8, 2009

    Don’t forget, I35 runs through Waco, the center of the Texas fundies, and is pronounced Wacko by many of us. Baylor University, the flagship of the Southern Baptist Convention, is there, and they didn’t even allow dancing there until recently. I don’t doubt that I35 is considered the holy road by many fundies, but wishing doesn’t make it so.

  9. #9 Tony P
    October 8, 2009

    We need another WPA in this country to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

    E.g. here in RI there are two parts of I-95, the Pawtucket River bridge and the Providence Viaduct that need complete replacement.

    The one in Providence I could have told you about 6 years ago. I used to walk to work and I’d pass under the Viaduct and being the curious type I’d look up at the rotting supports, the crumbling concrete and exposed rebar and think to myself that whole thing is gonna come crashing down someday soon.

    No biblical prophecy, just a basic understanding of support structures for roadways.

    The Pawtucket River bridge now has an 18 ton limit.

    RI is looking at needing a few billion dollars to replace both spans.

  10. #10 wrpd
    October 9, 2009

    These people do know that the division of the bible into chapters and verses didn’t happen until the middle ages, don’t they?