Delmar Ain't So Stupid

I recently had occasion to watch that movie, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou?” Chances are you have seen it. It is a popular movie with a famous actor named George Clooney. Him and two other men play the role of hapless, comically stupid convicts who have escaped from a chain gang in the Depression-era South. They play their roles so well that I’m sure these men must be stupid in real life.

The three escapees are in pursuit of a 1.2 million dollar treasure. Meanwhile, the law is continually on their trail.

On the one hand, this is a clever and funny movie. Like I said, the actors play their roles well and are endearing characters. And there is a lot of great, down-to-earth southern music in the soundtrack, much of it Christian.

But the movie was profoundly disappointing to me because Christianity was repeatedly made fun of. In fact, That seemed to be the focus of the whole movie. Sin is celebrated while salvation is mocked. Christianity is twisted and misconstrued. Southern culture is also misconstrued and mocked. And there is a steady stream of cussing.

But there is one notable part of this movie. Most viewers wouldn’t give this part of the movie a whole lot of thought. It could be that I am the only person in the world who has watched this movie and extrapolated from this scene what I am about to tell you...

The three stupid convicts are relaxing around a campfire at night. They are in a reflective mood, looking less like imbeciles and almost like normal humans in the light of the fire. One of the three asks the man named Delmar (Delmar O'Donnell) what he is going to do with his $400,000 share of the treasure when he gets it.

Delmar is the one in the middle of the picture at the top of this blog. He is portrayed as the dumbest of the three throughout the movie. But Delmar is clearly the smartest. It is, after all, Delmar who understands more than the others that he is a sinner in need of salvation. In one scene of the movie, Delmar runs, without hesitation, eagerly into the river, ahead of a long line of white-robed faithful, to get himself baptized.

But it is the scene around the camp fire when Delmar reveals what he will do with his treasure money that provides some real insight into Delmar. Here is what he says, as he lays on the ground, in the dancing firelight, staring off into the darkness:

”I’m gonna visit those foreclosing son-of-a-guns at the Indianola Savings & Loan, slap that money on the barrelhead and buy back the family farm. You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land”

That phrase, You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land, has been running through my mind. Does land, the acquisition of it, and the implied working of that land, make a man more of a man than those men who never own land and/or never work the land?

My first thought was, no, of course not. A man doesn’t need land to be a man; to know the fullness of manhood. But then I thought again....

God created Adam and showed him how to plant a garden and then entrusted the garden to him. God told Adam to care for it. That was the work that God gave man to do. And then, out of Adam’s side, he created the woman to help Adam in his work. Could Adam, the first man, the model man, have fulfilled his calling without land? Not for a second. The land, the garden, tending it, that was an integral part of what it meant to be a man... to be God's man.

God calls man to exercise “dominion” in Genesis. Dominion is another word for responsible stewardship of the land and all of creation. That is the fundamental corporate calling of all mankind. It is a clear agrarian mandate.

A mandate is "an authoritative command or instruction". Agrarian means "relating to or concerning the land and it’s ownership, cultivation, and tenure." Tenure is "the fact or condition of holding something, as real estate," which is to say, the condition of owning or being responsible for..... land.

You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land

After the flood of Noah’s day, the agrarian mandate was still in effect. In Genesis 9:20 we find that Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard. “Husbandman” is an old word typically applied to farmers who practice “husbandry,” which is “the cultivation of crops and the breeding and raising of livestock; agriculture.” Another dictionary definition of husbandry is “good, careful management of resources; economy.” Therefore, husbandry is the responsible stewardship of the land. It is the dominion mandate. It is the agrarian mandate. It is all the same. It is part of what men were created to do.

I can find no place in scripture where this first, fundamental, undergirding agrarian calling for man is revoked or altered by God. If it is, someone please tell me. And if it isn’t, then Christianity, and Christian men, have strayed from God’s calling. They have been seduced and waylaid by the Industrial Siren (“siren: deceitful, seductive woman, temptress”).

You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land

Please understand that Noah, a man who lived a life of obedience to God, did not construct a city, which is an anti-agrarian culture of landless men. Please note that obedient Abraham chose the agrarian life while his disobedient nephew, Lot, chose to live in the city. Please note that God delivered His people out of a centralized, urbanized Egyptian culture (where they were enslaved) and brought them to the fertile, productive land of Canaan. In order to be the men of God that they were created to be, in order to fulfill their corporate calling, those men needed land.

You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land

The earth, the land, all of creation, was made to display God’s glory and men were put in the midst to glorify their creator-God by being co-creators with Him through the work of planting and tending the land. By making it fruitful. By making it beautiful. By drawing sustenance from it. All for the glory of God. All in accordance to His plan and calling. When men veer away from this God-ordained purpose, they miss something vitally important.

Our industrial culture draws men away from the land and their God-ordained purpose. Modern industrialism sees the land and creation only as something to exploit for maximum profit. The concept of Biblical husbandry is a joke to the industrial mindset. Industrialism says: “Forget the land. Let us join together to organize the means of production and increase our "standards of living." Our purpose is to pursue personal pleasure, ease, and fulfillment within in the urban/industrial paradigm. The acquisition of money and power and prestige is what men were made for. Possessions make the man. You were created to make money. The land is only important if you can use it to extract wealth to feed your temporal pleasures.”

And so we live in a world where men who build personal empires of wealth and prestige are exalted as examples of success. Men who can hit or throw or kick a ball with skill and accuracy are heroes. Men who have well sculpted muscles and great physical strength from mindless exercising and vain bodybuilding are looked upon as "real men." It is all a perversion of truth.

I’m more impressed by a man who can cultivate and hill up a patch of potatoes, with a simple hoe, in the hot sun, than I am by any Olympic athlete.

I’m more impressed by a man who can grow gorgeous tomatoes, and is married to a plain woman who can make a good meal with those tomatoes, than I am with a man of the world who has a gorgeous “trophy” wife that can’t cook anything unless it comes already half prepared from a supermarket.

I’m more impressed with a resourceful, self-reliant man who knows how to use his hands and his mind to build and craft and fix all kinds of things for himself and his family than I am by a man who knows only how to do one or two specialized things in a factory or a cubicle.

I’m more impressed with a simple man who can teach his children well, than I am with a highly educated and credentialed professor who teaches at a great university.

I’m more impressed with a man who focuses his life on caring for and responsibly managing his family, a section of land, and his livestock than I am a man who can manage a fortune 500 company.

I’m more impressed by a man who drives a 15-year-old common vehicle that he knowingly maintains himself than I am with a man who drives an expensive, fancy, new car and can’t even change his own oil or a flat tire.

I’m more impressed with a man who lives simply and within his means, “owing no other man” than I am with a man who “has it all” and is wallowing in financial debt.

I’m more impressed with a man who has work-swollen, callused hands and tattered work clothes than I am a man having soft hands and carefully trimmed fingernails, wearing a tailored suit.

All of these characteristics; these things that impress me, are common to men of the land—men who live and work close to creation. Men of the land are self reliant. They are not helpless in the world, not entirely dependent on the industrial providers for their every need. Theirs is no pseudo manhood. It is a full and difficult and rewarding manhood. Men and land and the work and hardship of working in the land go together. They were made for each other.

A Biblical worldview that ignores the agrarian mandate is unbalanced. Modern Christianity that eschews its fundamental agrarian responsibility is missing the mark. Christian men who neglect their call to be husbandmen are neglecting their responsibility as men of God.

You ain’t no kind of man if you ain’t got land

Sure enough, and without a doubt... Delmar was the smart one.


Susan Humeston said...

I agree with you completely. What you are describing is integrity, living what is real and has intrinsic goodness. I love the movie, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" - I ignore all the negative and revel in the music, the Christian references. Of course, the most evil man is a Bible salesman - whatever. This world is lost and confused - and even though this movie was made by anti-Christian people, the beauty of the music and imagery comes through anyway, at least for me.

StefRobrts said...

If that man with a fancy suit and a trophy wife figured out how to treat cancer so that simple farm wife could spend another decade cooking up tomatoes for her family, then I think there's room for both in this world. Maybe that's the plan.

Grady Phelan said...

Why is it in my generation (I'm 23) that if I ask a girl if she can cook, she gets offended and scoffs at me? Cooking is a life skill. No... its the most important life skill. If one cannot cook, one cannot always eat. Most girls, and most guys, do not recognize this. Why am I a sexist pig if I want a wife that can care for our family? I once heard that behind ever great man stands an even greater woman. I know this is true... I've seen it on several occasions. For man to be any "kind of man" he needs an Eve to help him. Here's to finding an Eve.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

This post is a tremendous sermon. Thank you.

Red said...

Gratification that comes out of something concrete, something you can see and touch and smell is so much more satisfying. The peace in the smell of fresh, green air is something I seriously miss about living in a small town.

I adore classic movies from the 30's, so I always have to remind myself when I watch them that they're coming off of the steam of the 20's when the trends were all about letting loose and ignoring all your parents' beliefs.


This is so right on -- a missing aspect of redemption so necessary to a world bent on destruction. I sent this on to my Jewish believing friends in Israel knowing how much they would appreciate your heart. This is the type of insight that has ignited and fueled our own pursuit of biblical agrarianism. -- Michael

Daniel Way said...


Great post. I too enjoyed the movie a few years ago. Can't say that I caught that phrase. Maybe I did and have since forgotten it. That sort of things happens as you get in to your late fifties.

Just prior to the adoption of the American Declaration of Independence, the first article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776. It was written by George Mason, and reads in part:

"That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the >means of acquiring and possessing property,< and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

I have often thouught that the Declaration of Indepedence should have used similar language. "The pursuit of happiness" sounds hollow and trite in comparison and as we have all seen, can lead to many errors.

Kat said...

This is so true. My grandaddy was a farmer as have all the men in the family before him. I remember when I was little and my grandaddy bent down one day and picked up a handful of dirt. He then told me to hold out my hands and he placed that dirt in my hands. He told me then that the land was who I was and that the dirt of that land ran through my blood. I couldn't live without the land and it couldn't live without me. We were tied together in a bond placed by God. I married a man who feels the same way. I have friends whose husbands make a lot more money and have tailored suits and drive nice cars. I wouldn't trade my husband in his ripped jeans, calloused hands, and old beatup pickup for anything in the world. I love hearing him stomping the dirt off his boots as he enters the house. I know God has truly blessed me with a real man. One who is as tied to the land as I am, a bond that has been in place for generations.

Topher said...

Just a thought... was Jesus an agrarian?

Dan said...

Well, the desire has been growing in me for the past year and a half to move out of suburbia and find my 'land' in the country. Mostly it was just to really kick up my family's food production. But reading your post has brought a new thought to mind. Homesteading not just for the self-sufficiency (or as I like to say, God-sufficiency) of it, but because it's what we're made for, what God wants us to do. I've known about dominion, but this puts a new perspective on it. I need to read some more.
Thanks for a wonderful post.

Rachel said...

Very well put, Mr Kimball.

Herrick Kimball said...

"Was Jesus and agrarian?"

I think I'll reply to this with a separate blog post.

Michael Bunker said...

Herrick, I couldn't have said it better myself. Excellent post. Was Jesus an Agrarian... Jesus was the Saviour of His people. He was not a carpenter or a tentmaker. Not a tax collector or a grease monkey. He was not a rent collector, or a rent payer. He was a saviour, and any man that says that he is what Jesus was, is a liar. And any man that says that Agrarianism is not Biblical, because Jesus was not a farmer, is a fool and doesn't understand the extreme nature of salvation.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off the topic, but I can't find Cumberland Books, and thought you might have some insight...

Momofthesouth said...

I do quite like this movie, even though I do agree in some of the irony of it. (it is hollywood afterall). I am QUITE fond of the soundtrack, my son has loved it since he was an infant! It's very soothing. Anyway...I loved your blog and only wanted to add this reference to a scripture that I also thought was very appropriate, and also was something that was sent to me as a daily proverb from a friend from ironic is that!

Proverbs 24: 27 "Finish you outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house."

Obviously there is great significance in working your fields...the house is a mere BONUS, but the fields are your "livelyhood", and your "duty". Without it, the house would be worthless, what would you eat during and after all those long hours working on your house? I'm sure we could find many other great thoughts from this small nugget.

Also I agree that I respect a person for being able to know what they can handle, and only having what the need, and the extras are fine so long as they can actually AFFORD it! I see so many people these days boasting (which is bad enough in and of itself) how they have several brand new cars, a boat, a huge house, a pool, blah blah blah, and then saying how much they have to work to make ends meet (and losing precious family time) and even then they are barely scraping by, and more so are getting deeper into debt! NOW THAT APPALLS ME!

Anonymous said...

It is quite a leap from promoting an agrarian lifestyle to finding it required in the Scriptures. Did Jesus own land?

There is liberty in Christ.

My wife and kids and I live on an acreage in the country not because of any Scriptural imperative but because we are endeavoring to discern what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Jayne said...

Hi, I've been a longtime reader here, but have never commented. Lately, I've been reading in Genesis and had a thought stick out from Cain's story that I thought you'd appreciate. Cain was a farmer, and obviously very proud of his work and it's fruits. So proud that he presented them as a sacrifice to God. Later, when he had committed murder, God said, "And now thou art cursed from the earth." He was never to be able to grow things again! To not be able to work the land is a curse, one that Cain felt strongly: "My punishment is greater than I can bear." He then became the founder of the first city mentioned in the Bible.
I don't know what all significance this may have, but thought I'd share it with you as your post reminded me of it.
Thanks for your inspirational and practical writings here,

Michael Bunker said...

It's easy enough to find Agrarianism as a scriptural imperative if you only bother to look. "Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken" (Gen 3:23). But I forgot, that's old testament. We have freedom in Christ now. And marriage between man and woman... old testament, throw that out the window. "Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them"... oops. Old Testament. Toss out any rules against homosexuality. Good thing we have modernist xtians to cut up our Bibles and throw half of it out. The Pilgrims, Puritans, and Reformers knew how to rightly divide the Word of Truth. They knew that the ceremonial law was done away in Christ, but that the moral law and the commandments were perennial and binding. But today we have freedom in Christ. Freedom to do as Cain did and live in and build cities. Freedom to take many wives so long as you only have one at a time. Freedom for a man to lie with a man as a man lies with a woman. Nice. Viva Freedom. Or whatever...

Never forget, the devil has never stopped saying "Yea, Hath God said?".

No one that I know has ever said that any act of obedience is salvific, but that does nothing to determine whether or not something is required or not. We have freedom in Christ, that is true, we are free from the need or imperative to save ourselves. We are not free to continue in sin that grace may abound.

The Bible says this was the job of man before the fall:

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Gen 2:15)

And this was the job of man after the fall:

Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Gen 3:23)

We are to work with our hands (1 Thess. 4:11), in the ground/soil (Gen. 3:23), and to be content with food and raiment (1 Tim. 6:8). The lie of the industrial grid system is that if you will enslave yourself to your baser lusts (for comfort, leisure, entertainment, sin) then you will not have to labor in the soil. That is basically the gist of it. That is why your parents always told you to go to a worldly college to get a degree... so you won't have to dig ditches. The world hates the idea of working in the soil, because that is what God has decreed for man.

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein (Jer. 6:16).

Or rather, they said "we have freedom in Jesus to not walk therein".

Michael Bunker

Anonymous said...

Hiya from across Lake Ontario,
I haven't seen the movie (can't sit still that long!) but reading what you have to say is a breath of fresh air! I found your blog while trying to learn how to butcher a chicken. I'm in the process of moving back to the country from the city, and can't wait to get back in the garden! Good grief. I was raised in a pretty traditional Christian church, but had never heard of agrarianism. Very interesting what you have to say about Calvin and industralism. Can't wait to read more.

Herrick Kimball said...

I appreciate all the comments here.

That's a good insight. I'm glad you have finally commented and shared that.

Make sense to me, and I appreciate your viewpoint.

It is not necessary to own land to pursue the agrarian lifestyle. But it helps. Personally, I have 1.5 acres out in the country. Take away the wooded area and my land is the size of a large suburban lot. That's why I pasture meat birds on my front lawn. I hope to one day have more land, care for it sustainably, and use it to raise more food for my family and others. Until that happens, I am content to husband what the Lord has entrusted to me.

You say you are "endeavoring to discern what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" and that is why you "live on an acreage in the country." That sounds like a wise thing to do.

www.Cumberland Books

Anonymous said...

Herrick -

First, happy belated birthday! I, too, have seen O Brother Where Art Thou? many times. I always find the mocking of Christians and Christianity to be the fault of many "Christians" who act in such a way that non-believers have reason to poke fun at them. I just watched a movie - Lord Save Us From Your Followers - it was thought-provoking and really causes one to re-think his actions and words. In light of the fact that we are His witnesses here on earth, our deeds and words should mirror what the Bible tells us. The problem is, most don't open that book very often. The Bible salesman in OBWAT is the epitome of modern t.v. preachers who are in it "for the money". Delmar was the one who showed the most faith, but was ridiculed. His faith showed in so many ways that even though he wasn't educated, the Holy Spirit was alive within him, causing him to feel guilt and to know what was really and truly important in life - not riches or treasures, for those can only buy temporary things, but the desire deep within to do what really mattered if he were to be given such earthly goods.

C. Hays

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Carla,

Yes, modern crass Christianity does open itself up for ridicule.

Another observation that occurred to me as I watched the movie is that virtually every character in the movie is portrayed as ridiculously abnormal human beings EXCEPT Tommy. He was so normal that it stood out. And Tommy is the character who sold his soul to the Devil.

Rachel said...

My dad is a man like this - and after bogging down in the "worldology" taught in public schools, I finally figured out that it was wrong and I've been working hard to point my girls and son in the right direction.

Work hard, Do your best, And Obey God.

Both my girls, 14 and 11, can cook and clean almost as well as I can. Both are great with kids, both can THINK and solve problems. They aren't perfect, but I'm thankful that they aren't like most girls we know that are only interested it make-up, boys, rock bands, and flirty outfits.

They don't always fit in with other kids - but they are ok with that.

I love your blog - and copy the pieces for my best friend who doesn't have internet. We are both enjoying it so much. Thanks!

bandit said...

Ummm ... I must point out that *everything* your life (physically) depends on is a result of the Industrial revolutions and Engineers. Where does the rubber come from to make the chicken plucker? (Thanks for the design - a great innovation.)

Yes - we should not allow physical things and the love of them to get between us and God (and I suspect we would agree on the critical parts of Biblical Doctrine).

However, without the industrial advances, all of our lives would be short and brutal - as it was until quite recently in history.

Try this experiment: when sick, do not go to the doctors. Only use metal you or a smith has forged. Give up computers. read only books printed by hand. Use only cloth made on a hand loom. wear only boots made by hand on a last. In short, use only materials you have hand-made or others have hand-made and you have bartered for. Give up banks and only do barter. Write only letters delivered by the US Postal Service - wait - that will not work because they are delivered by vehicles. No TV or radio or music you or those around you make. Eat only food you raise yourself *and nothing else*, unless a neighbor has raised it. Use only lumber you have cut and milled.

There is a place in this world for all skills. I am an engineer - God made me that way. I and other engineers sit in an office and change the world - literally. This communication would be *impossible* without folks with specialized skills making *everything* you touch.

Do I think folks should have multiple skills? Of course. But you need to realize the effects of the industrial revolution - both positive and negative - have had on the lives of *everybody*, and you could not live the lifestyle you are without the benefits of that technological revolution and those who make a living building those things.

Do I sound harsh? I just want to point out that you are much more dependent on an industrial basis than you are aware of. Should folks be aware of the land and where their food comes from? Of course. I think folks should be willing to eat meat only if they are *willing* to slaughter the animal - ground round does not magically appear in the meat section of the supermarket. We raise chickens for eggs and meat (and I *hate* hand-plucking...)

foutfolk said...

Well said . . . and thought out.

Before I started providing for my family from the land, I would have thought that this post was biased.

By the world's standpoint, I am a successful man. (Master's degree in education, property owner, landlord, father to many children, volunteer . . . ) and yet I have ALWAYS regarded men who had agrarian skills "real" men. There was something about them that always attractive to me. I studied them, was fascinated by them, and secretly wanted to be JUST like them. Now that I run my own 31 acre farm, fix things like fencing, parts of barns, and equipment, and handle animals with no fear, like horses, our milk cow, and chickens, I feel more manly (and Godly) than I ever did as a "successful" city man.

In fact, I have since grown a fairly long beard, that my children LOVE, and the people I work with HATE! What is that? I think maybe a boycott of true manliness. (not necessarily the beard but what the beard represents)

Great ideas in your post. I won't however be watching the movie. :)

Anonymous said...

"Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses" ~ II Cor 33.

Does the land teach us to heed the commandments, the whole law, the statues and ordinances that are the boundries for His people? Do we when we remove ourselves far from the land, take ourselves to a place far from God and the "curriculum of life"?

When we reject the land, not be a good steward of it, do we in essence reject or do injustice to the commandments, statues and ordinances God has put in place for His people?

Rejecting land, hard work, teaching the boundaries of His choosing, placing Man at the center instead of Yahweh.

Unknown said...

Mr Kimball,

i have very much enjoyed exploring your blog. I find it necessary to carefully ration my intake of digital information in this age of overload, yet I always seem to keep this site close at hand.

I'm a little disappointed, however, in your analysis of the film's treatment of Christianity. May I offer another vision?

One of the film's themes that impressed me the most was its conception of faith, and faith's fruit, as worked out by real people in real time, especially by those characters who are relatively unaware of the process as it occurs. Despite the overt misconstruance, misuse, or even abuse of Christianity proper by many of the film's characters they still manage to exhibit real Christian fruit and evidence of the sanctification process - often in spite of themselves. This explains why the film's characters remain so endearing, as you pointed out, even as they outwardly scoff at Christianity. Even Big Dan T, the guiltiest of them all, has something to teach us about our own faith. This is an ubiquitous human theme, of course, and colors many areas of life, yet faith and religion (in this setting Christianity) is a particularly poignant vehicle - we are all guilty of it, not just Big Dan.

(also, be careful not to equate a character's beliefs with the writer/director's beliefs.)

Throw in the fact that the film makes liberal use of caricature and irony and you have a stirring vision of Christianity tempered by a pervasive sense of innocence (my favorite part of the film). Perhaps your reaction to the film's treatment of Christianity is precisely the response it was intended to elicit? After all, what does it say about us if we cannot contend with self-criticism?

Steve Minning said...

Just found your wonderful blog and find it deeply inspirational. I've recently retired from my job in the Dept of Defence and am returning to my wife's family farm; a dream we've had for the last 35 years. Lot's of challenges ahead, but we're looking forward to the adventure.

As I read your commentary on "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" I couldn't help but wonder if your realized that the movie is a satire of Homer's "Odessey." Clooney's character is representative of Ulysses who is attempting to return back to his wife, who is being pursued by 'suitors.' In his journey back he is confronted by 'sirens,' the 'cyclops' (John Goodman) etc. The next time you watch the movie see what parallels with Homer's Odyssey you can find; I think you'll see it in a new way.

Another quirky part of the movie is that it jumps regional context. Part of the movie is supposed to be Mississippi, but the landscape is clearly Texas. The characters are supposed to be Mississippi or Alabama, but Clooney's accent is clearly as a Kentuckian. Clearly the writers and producers had a good time with the movie.

I agree with you about the treatment of Christianity though.

Thanks for your blog, I expect to learn a great deal from it and to obtain a great deal of enjoyment from it as well.

Gorges Smythe said...

Interesting thoughts. MY movie epiphany was when I was 15 and watching Gone with the Wind for the first time. It was when Mr. O'Hara was talking to Scarlett about the land, telling her that it's the only thing worth fighting and dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts. A bit more secular than your thoughts, but a feeling that I can identify with, none-the-less.

Anonymous said...

You're dumber than Delmar.

You base your decisions on a loony book of myths written down by goat-ropers in a desert thousands of years ago.

Christianity needs to be mocked as the vicious destructive irrational mythology it is.

You're too delusional to trust for advice about supper, never mind surviving bad times.

Herrick Kimball said...


Wow. Thanks for the comment. It isn't often that I get such angry (vicious and destructive) responses on this blog.

Your words reveal a hard heart, a bitter spirit, and a troubled soul, and I am very sorry about that.

I do, however, understand your viewpoint. I would feel the same way if I suffered under the misunderstandings and misconceptions that you have about Christianity.

I wish you the very best.

Benjamin said...

What a great post! The theology of Agrarianism. How much we have lost in our world. That's the best defense of Christian agrarianism I've ever read. What, it's the only one I've ever read! Unfortunately Christianity in it's modern form is not a complete worldview or culture forming institution. It's rather just an addendum to what's already out there in the way of human culture and lifestyle. It's not serious stuff, it just adds "salvation" to your bag of goodies.

Joe said...

Brother, this was a wonderful post. It is so true. We as a society have lost so much. The sad thing is that so many are so blind that they can not see it. May God open their eyes and awaken them. Keep up the good work.

Yeoman Farmer said...

And never forget the first city was built by...the first murderer.

Anonymous said...

This movie is lampooning people similar to the person who wrote this article, it is satire and some people are too stubborn in their ways to understand. If Jesus came back today he would be disgusted with modern day christianity..

Anonymous said...

What a sad and disturbing post.
Delmar was a hyperbole example of the weak minded gullibility and ignorance religion needs to survive. Apparently it is not in short supply. He was the biggest and most effective mockery in the movie and you laughably took it as a compliment! Wow.

I am certain I will learn lots about agriculture from this forum, but am disappointed that so many farmers proudly live up to the stereotyped religious fools the rest of the world thinks they are. Science makes the crops come in, science wards off famine, science saves the wretched miserable people who huddle in hunger. Modern farming is science and has nothing to do with wishing for something from a multiple personality sky zombie.

God isn't real. You were right to doubt the stories a corrupt church told you as a child. I know at some point you doubted the stories, you must have! One boat and all the animals? Two people creating everyone, then getting wiped out and one old man doing it again by sleeping with his daughters and breeding his children with each other? And the animals are doing the same thing! People so obsessed with getting drunk they fantasize about snapping their fingers to transform water into the good stuff. Please stop telling these stories to your children, it undermines the future of our society to cripple their minds. We need doctors, engineers and physicists that don't think magic is a good enough answer in order to stay relevant in the world. Otherwise we turn into the middle east, lots of farmers out there! How is their human rights program coming along?

Coffee House Philosopher said...

In the paragraph:
Please understand that Noah,... In order to be the men of God that they were created to be, in order to fulfill their corporate calling, those men needed land.
Did you corporal calling and not corporate or am I missing a different meaning of corporate?
I have often used this idea when lamenting what has happened to the land, especially in the cities, with pollution and people simply dropping trash on the ground, with 'God put us here to tend the garden and we have been ruining it ever since.' Littering is way to polite a word for throwing trash in our living room. Yeap the land is our Living - Room.
... we were put here to tend the garden...

kymber said...

Herrick - i don't know if you will ever see this comment but i just wanted to tell you that my poor coalmining father always told me to get land. he always said that you had to have land. and guess what Herrick? we now own 24 acres of untouched wild land. we have a somewhat smallish garden but we are almost at the point where we can grow all of our own food. and our 24 acres sits on 1400ft of riverfront...a river no one has ever heard of! my hubby goes out during fishing season and catches us 5 wild river trout every day. we eat good around here. because we have land. so, yes, Delmar was the smartest!

i am loving your blog and learning so much from it! i've read almost all of your posts in my free time...and every time i have free time - i read a few more of your posts.

thanks for all of your wonderful information! your friend,

Unknown said...

If you think the movie is anti-Christian you haven't watched it enough. The whole movie is about Everett's conversion from a fast dealing liar to a family man of faith.
When the movie starts the blind man prophesys to Everett that the journey was abut his salvation and that he would see "a cow on the roof of a cotton house". At the end of the movie, Everett makes a gallows conversion, which he tries to take back, but then he sees the cow on the roof of a cotton house. in the next scene, he is a changed man back with his family and even says, "You have to have confidence in God". We then see the blind man again to let us know the cycle is complete.

Clark said...

I think I can make a case that the three characters in Oh Brother Where Art Thou represent:
1) the mind
2) the emotions
3) the body