There’s an article in The American Mind a publication of the Claremont Institute that in its first half describes life in the city of Lubbock where I have lived for the last 40 years. It describes a series of municipal characteristics that have escaped my notice over those four decades. They include leaving personal items safely unattended while pursuing a coffee refill. The ubiquity of the New Testament in public spaces including every coffee shop. The majority frequency of Jesus T-shirts worn by the students at Texas Tech University.

I have never seen a Tech student with such a T-shirt. Nor have I seen a copy of the Gospels at any local Starbucks or similar dispensers of caffeinated beverages. The article makes no mention of the Porch Pirates that populate the city or the smash-and-grab assaults on parked cars or the distressing tendency of the locals to abandon dogs on the city streets. I see a pleasant place to live with many of the urban sores afflicting even the best cities in a country that is continental in its dimensions. The author on the other hand sees a city that has preserved its Christian tradition for the betterment of its civic life.

It’s undeniable that Lubbock is a Christian town when observance and tradition are combined. Nevertheless, the city described in the article and the one I have lived in for a major fraction of my life are not the same. Then in a Eureka moment, I realized that there must be two cities occupying the same spot in the South Plains – the one I’ve been living in and the one described in the article. The following is an account of my search and subsequent exploration of this second city – the one described in the article.

How does one find an invisible, at least to me, city that is co-dimensional with its doppelganger? Even Google was stymied by my search. It knew only one Lubbock, the one I’ve inhabited all these decades. I was about to give up believing that if Google didn’t know the answer it was not available. Then I realized that the solution was so simple and obvious that even a professor could see it. In a world engulfed in disinformation, misinformation, and fake news I could combine all three – ie, make it up. Describing the alt Lubbock on this site would ensure that I would not be found out. My second city’s story would be free from prying eyes.

There is a Mormon Temple in the center of New Lubbock disgorging sleek young men with starched white shirts, narrow ties, missionary zeal, and plans for a later career in orthopedic surgery. The Book of Mormon is as ubiquitous in coffee shops as is the New Testament.

Cardinal Torquemada who presides over all the Catholic churches in the area supervises a monthly auto-da-fe that substitutes rose petals and lavender for flames. He issues universal absolution every Friday in place of mandatory fish. In addition to Latin masses there are Sunday observances in Ordu, Swahili, and Inuktitut.

But it is the Protestant persuasion where the city glows. There are two Adventist Churches, three Anabaptist, one Anglican, 12 Baptist, two Free Evangelical, seven Lutheran, 96 Methodist, two Moravian, 14 Pentecostal, one Plymouth Brethren, one Quaker, 0.5 Reformed (they meet on odd weekends), six United Protestant, two Waldensian, three Christadelphians, three Iglesia ni Cristos, two Irvingians, one Jehovah’s Witness, two Church of God, one Swedenborgian, and six Unitarian Churches – the last all on the campus of Texas tech. I’ve probably missed a few, but the city’s saintly specifications speak for themselves.

There is also a Reformed synagogue that exists mostly on the fumes of its deceased merchant founders whose descendants have departed for allures of traffic jams and more creative crimes. A mosque contributes to the general sense of ecumenicalism.

The perversity of religion casts its mystical aura beyond the city’s and even the county’s borders so that any depiction of Lubbock whether on paper or screen pulses like a rotating neutron star. Its distinction from the Godless urban areas that house the majority of Texas’ population is like that between the lion and the lamb.

There is no crime in the city. The students at its schools – all types, all grades – perform their tasks and assignments crowned in a nimbus of celestial favor. Alt Lubbock has hills and mountains providing a reason for the name of the local paper – The Avalanche Journal. Instead of Letters to the Editor the daily prints Paul’s letters to the Galatians, et al. Jesus shirts are not worn by many as the robes of the penitent are in greater favor. Bibles are as ubiquitous as silicon in the right valley. The city’s religious culture radiates rectitude like a space heater. Incidentally, the real Lubbock is flatter than a provincial tenor’s high notes.

Backpacks and laptops can be safely left in public without fear of appropriation as can car keys, sunglasses, sanitary napkins, bottled water, lip gloss, tissue paper, Tylenol, graphic novels, baseball caps, yesterday’s AJ, loose change, and debit cards. The homogenous Christian makeup of the place exceeds that of processed milk.

Then I sneezed accompanied by the obligatory blink and my multi-dimensional vision collapsed like a high yield bond. After all, it was just another concoction of fake news and its congeners. The American Mind had seized mine leading it it to wishful illusion. Religion may chart a path that is straight and narrow, but we errant mortals tend to drift and wander and may lose our way sometimes for eternity. But a village on a hill is too pleasant a dream to forgo. We could have such a good time living there. At least it’s pretty to think so.