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更新时间:2006/10/3
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Religious Belief in Mississippi   (Part A)
宗教信仰在密西西比州的影响 (1)

In the United States, the 16th annual Bible reading marathon ended on Thursday at the Capitol building in Washington DC. The event, which involved dozens of volunteers reading the Bible aloud from Genesis to Revelation, culminated in a nationwide day of prayer, led by President Bush himself. Religious belief has always played an important part in American life but a lively debate is now under way about whether religion has seeped into areas which should be kept secular. Justin Webb travelled to the most religious state in the union and was surprised by what he found:

From the air Mississippi has the colour and texture of fresh broccoli -- at a distance the trees look tightly coiled -- rich green in the sunlight, purple patches in the shade. Mississippi is home to millions of trees, and not many millions of people. It is a verdant, sweaty place. As your plane comes down to land there are glints all around of sunlight on still water, meandering rivers, reservoirs and swamps, where the line between the still brown liquid and the vegetation is blurred. The state is mostly rural and poor -- shacks and mobile homes nestling under the canopy of the forest, rusting pick-up trucks bouncing down dirt roads.

And churches -- everywhere churches. Pristine Catholic cathedrals with long pointy towers -- cool and confident looking with wide lawns and copious car parks -- Baptist houses of worship, with those vaguely threatening messages on billboards outside -- Jesus is coming -- where are you going? And in the denser undergrowth, the deeper heart of the State, tiny little brick buildings some not much bigger than a garage.   There are more churches per head of population in Mississippi than in any other state and, historically, you could argue, more bigotry, more cruelty, more unchristian behaviour, racial prejudice, more unchristian behaviour.

参考译文:

在美国,第十六届年度圣经朗读马拉松赛于周三在华盛顿的国会大厦结束。这一赛事共有许多名志愿者参加,他们大声朗读圣经中从《创世纪》到《启示录》中的经文。比赛在布什总统亲自主持的国家祈祷日达到高潮。宗教信仰在美国生活中一直发挥着重要的作用,但是对于宗教是否已经渗透到非宗教领域这一问题现在正进行着激烈的辩论。贾斯廷·韦布到过联邦宗教信仰最虔诚的州,结果被其发现所震惊:

从空中俯瞰,密西西比州拥有新鲜花椰菜的颜色和纹理,因为从远处观看,树木看上去蜿蜒曲折,在阳光下郁郁葱葱,留下一片片的紫色阴影。密西西比州拥有成千上百万株树木,但却没有这么多人口。该州是一所充满翠绿和芳香的场所。当飞机朝陆面下降时,你会在下面四周静静的水面、蜿蜒的河水、水库和沼泽上看到阳光在粼粼闪光,而在这些地方静静的褐色液体和植被之间的界线也变得模糊起来了。该州大部分地区都是乡村,破旧的小屋和移动的房屋躺在森林的华盖之下,锈迹斑斑的搭人卡车沿着泥道磕磕绊绊地向前驶去。

再就是教堂,到处都是教堂。质朴的天主大教堂带着长长的尖角塔楼,有着广阔的草地和宽敞的停车场,看上去是那么的冷静和自信。在受人朝拜的浸信宣道堂外面的告示板上写着隐隐含有威胁意味的信息:耶稣即将到来,你将要到哪去呢?而在更为密集的矮树从中,在该州更为核心的地方,却是些比车库大不了多少的窄小砖楼。密西西比州的人均教堂数量比其他任何州都多,而从历史上来看,你也可以说这里比其他州存在着更多的偏执、残酷、种族歧视以及更为不像基督教的行为。

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