South Carolina ends up near the bottom of a lot of lists. And folks from up north and out west like to poke fun at our nice, southern state. Truth is, when times get tough, South Carolinians stand strong. Our state has had a rough year. Kinda makes us want to point out to the rest of the country what might make us different. The media struggles to find dirty laundry to point out when disaster strikes the Palmetto State—no rioting, looting, or other raucous behavior. Instead, “Sandlappers” pull together and help each other in times of need. What do you think makes us different from other states in America? Here’s what we came up with:
Faith doesn’t make things easy, it makes them possible, see Luke 1:37. Maybe a common thread that has allowed South Carolinians to fare well through a tumultuous 2015 is faith. From a recent Gallup poll, over 50% of South Carolinians identify themselves as being ‘very religious’ and over 50% reported that they attend church regularly.
Whether folks were honest about their church attendance or not, the fact that they would lie to cover up their ‘backslidden behavior’ points to the strong culture of Sunday church in our state. Additionally, South Carolina ranks 13th in the country for the number of places to worship per capita. (Not including Saint Mattress, and Bedside Baptist—churches often attended on Sundays by those sleeping in!) And don’t forget to #prayforsc.
Find it odd that 44.4% of South Carolinians own guns? Compare that to a 20.7% gun-owning population of Maryland, and we’re even greater than Texas at 35% (Business Insider). Before jumping into a political debate, remember that South Carolinians enjoy hunting and sporting clay shooting. But they also believe in protecting their homes and families.
According to Bustle.com, South Carolina is ranked fourth in “States that Produce the Most Social People.” We are listed at the bottom of the list for social media usage, but when it comes to cookouts, parties, tailgates, oyster roasts, or any other real, live, social events…count us in! Our state even has a state dance! (The shag, if you’re not from around here.) Maybe spending time together, developing friendships, and loving the people where we live makes us more likely to help each other in times of need.
South Carolina could be named the comfort food capital of the world. In the midst of turmoil, at least the Palmetto State has some good eats. Shrimp and grits, low country boil, 100-mile BBQ, pecan pie, boiled peanuts, chicken bog, and sweet potato soufflé, just to name a few. Then there’s the food that’s unique to SC—Palmetto Cheese, Carolina Red Rice, Blenheim Ginger Ale, and Beacon Sweet Tea. We also produce more peaches than any other state except California, which leads to peach pie, peach ice cream, peach cobbler, and even peach enchiladas.
South Carolinians love their state. Perhaps the only state in which residents (and visitors) enjoy decorating their home, cars, clothes, jewelry, and more with the state flag is the good ‘ol SC. The palmetto tree can be found on beach towels, drinkware, Christmas ornaments, and even dog collars.
So there you have it. Even if President Obama never shows up to offer his encouragement to our soggy state, we will dry our tears as we dry our belongings, and know that we are going to be okay. (We’re thinking he’s either embarrassed about his butchered performance of Amazing Grace in Charleston or afraid of the gun-toting rednecks cruising around rescuing folks from their flooded homes and cars).
We are South Carolina strong. We have God, guns, good food, and friends, and that seems to be all we need.