Religious Hypocrisy on the Big Butt Trail

I respect consistency. You could be a piece-of-shit person, but as long as you’re consistent and transparent about your shittiness, I’ll begrudgingly respect you. I vehemently dislike hypocrisy‒ and not your run-of-the-mill hypocrisy we’re all guilty of on some level (seriously, read any four posts from this blog, and I guarantee you you’ll find a handful of contradictions)‒but the kind of hypocrisy that leads people to claim they care so much about human life that they equate abortion to murder but then bitch and moan about how putting on a mask to potentially save someone’s life is limiting our freedoms.

Or, for example, the gentleman with the “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker who flipped me off when I took the parking space he wanted at the trailhead to the Big Butt trail the other day. Not very Christ-like, sir‒Jesus wouldn’t care that I reached the spot he wanted first and might even wash my feet as a show of forgiveness!

This was my first time on the Big Butt trail, which is an easy 40-minute drive from Asheville and an easy two-hourish hike that’s perfect for those times when you want some solid views, a solid sweat, but don’t want to eat up an entire day.

The hike starts at the Walker Knob Overlook and meanders through a pine forest. Since it follows a ridge stemming off the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are just barely obscured views of the Black Mountains the entire time. I ended my hike at the “Little Butt” overlook since all my internet research indicated the top of big butt has zero views. The LIttle Butt viewpoint is the perfect place to stop and take a breakfast or lunch break at just over two miles and an hour each way. Since the walk back to your car isn’t overly strenuous, feel free to eat up.

The podcast I listened to on my Big Butt stroll is called “In God We Lust” and aptly about the very worst kinds of hypocrites: horny evangelical hypocrites.

The podcast starts with an older woman picking up a pool boy at a fancy South Beach hotel and bringing him back to her room, where her husband watches them have sex and allegedly records the act without the young man’s knowledge. The couple? Jerry and Becki Falwell, evangelical heirs, fervent Trump supporters, and heads of Virginia’s Liberty University, which has a code of conduct that outlaws sinful behavior like dancing or wearing leggings.

Is the podcast any good? I’d say objectively no. The scripted banter the hosts engage in gave me lots of second-hand embarrassment (Example: “Girl, there are not enough hard seltzers to forget 2020!”). Still, the story is a fascinating example of the family values bullshit a scary portion of the country subscribes to. I guarantee my Jesus-loving, bird-throwing friend thinks the Falwells are victims of the dreaded cancel culture, rather than the type of hypocrites who say sex is wrong but are kinkier than AOC could ever dream. If you want a deeper dive on this messed up “power couple,” check out In God We Lust or this great Politico piece about Becki (with an “i,” no less) Falwell blowing her son’s friend at a sleepover (but I’m sure she wasn’t wearing leggings while doing so).


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