Texas Explained

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Jacob Hendon

Dear Radnor,

None other than Davy Crockett, the iconic founder of Texas in their secession from Mexico, said, “You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas!” This quote holds everything anyone needs to know about the “Great State”. It shows the straightforward, arrant attitude  Texans have about the place they call home. In saying this, Texas’ esoteric meaning can only be comprehended by those native born or those daring enough to become initiated into Texan culture. When it comes down to it, all anyone should know about Texas are these three things: religion, football, and pride. It’s these three ingredients that are concocted to brew the state everyone knows and hopefully loves.

At the root of Texicanity, religion is by far the most important part of the Texan Holy Trinity. When it comes to religion, there are only two faiths, and those would be the Catholics and everyone else (or the Protestants). Disclaimer: It would be disrespectful to say that these two dominant faiths are the absolute only two, but these are the majority. Texas indeed has wide diversity in its cities, but in the rural, widespread in-between, it lacks that iconic oh-so-American diversity. At the same time, Texas in itself is a diverse part of the United States.

But for the grand majority of towns in Texas, the two denominations are seemingly the only two in existence. In these areas, “the truth” is known by all regardless whether you are an every Sunday churchgoer; “the truth” is what Texans would refer to as the story of Christ, or The Gospel. Everyone believes. Everyone knows. Everyone has him in their hearts. Everyone has that sweet Holy Ghost within.

The hold religion has in these communities is outstanding with their amount of power. It infiltrates the school system beyond imaginable. “Holiday Break” becomes “Christmas Break”, playing basketball in activity period becomes in-school church services that come with a free slice of pizza, and a normal lunch becomes interrupted by a student lead prayer regardless if anyone in the crowd of hungry teens is not a Christian. It is hard to escape anywhere where religion is not slapped in front of your face; at the same time, some of those same who force their religion need to remember that “love does not envy nor boast” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). An outsider looking in may see this as the textbook example of what offensiveness looks like, but for the life of an everyday Texan, it’s normal.

For a good four months out of the year, the only thing on anyone’s mind would be the next upcoming high school football game, and for the other 8 months of the year, everyone yearns deep down for the Friday night lights to start up again. Take what you have ever thought about southern high school football game and crank it up ten notches. A class-A Friday night in Texas is not just a game;  the band, cheerleading, and football teams practice for 2 grueling months in the summer for the start of the season. In Texas, football is the entire community filling the 8,500 seats in the high school stadium from infants to great-grandparents coming out to support. Lastly, it is of course the student section filled with shirtless, hormonal, teenage boys painted head-to-toe in school colors as if they were wild jingoes.

After all the work put in, one might ask why? Why would anyone put in all the stress and hard work wasted in a football game? The answer is ding ding ding— tradition. The quarterback’s dad was the quarterback in ‘91. The drum major’s mom was drum major and so was her mom before that. And, “Blake”, with her blonde hair curled and layers of foundation topped with cherry-red lipstick was taught the ropes on how to be a “pretty girl” by her mom who was once the drill captain. The cycle of these things go on and on because Texans are the most nostalgic people.

From high school football to professional football, tradition still exists and families become long supporters of football teams such as the Texans or Cowboys. Aside from football, baseball is a renown sport in Texas, especially after The Astros won the World Series for first time in history. Schools were cancelled, roads were closed, and everyone who knew anything about The Astros was at the homecoming parade in Downtown Houston. It was as if Jesus came back, and the rapture was happening. It is the fun loving, carefree, and almost mandatory sense of synergy in Texas that makes it so special.

Texans have a air of pride that circles them wherever they go. They are proud of their tradition as well as their conservatism. Deviancy away from tradition would be blasphemy in Texan culture. Many may not understand what form of this pride looks like, but this pride is subconscious and has no means of offense. It just comes off as arrogant sometimes.

This pride Texans obtain is like a son being proud of his father or grandfather, or like a military veteran being proud of her or his country. It does not run out and all Texans are quick to defend their state in any form of offense against it. Texas is the warm and fuzzy feeling in the bottom of your stomach when one thinks of home.

Texacanity may seem like a cult, but it’s just another way of life on the American frontier.