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Monday, July 04, 2005

Garrison Keillor grew up Plymouth Brethren

Here's an article I found, not sure who this guy is. The article is from 1985, but was just recently published online. Seems he has a high view of the assemblies and fundamentalists.

Here is the article

PLOWBOY: You do have a very strict religious background, don't you?

KEILLOR I grew up in the Plymouth Brethren Church. The Brethren were a tiny minority for whom life was strictly an upstream paddle. A great many things that the people of other creeds got to do were forbidden to us. I've felt that restriction as far back as I can remember. Still, being part of a minority—of whatever sort—is not the worst thing that can happen to somebody.

PLOWBOY: What are your feelings about the Brethren now?

KEILLOR I still believe what I was brought up to believe. I don't go to a Brethren assembly anymore, but I think that's more my fault than theirs. I doubt I'll ever go back, but you never know. People make some unusual turns in their forties, and so could I.

I'm certainly very uncomfortable with churches that I consider a great deal more liberal than the one I was brought up in. I have a very hard time sitting still when a preacher's talking about the value of being a good listener or something like that. When I hear that sort of sermon, I really feel like I ought to get up and walk out.

PLOWBOY: So you feel religion should be rigorous and significant?

KEILLOR Religion is rigorous and significant. Whether a lot of people see it that way or not, it just is. That's not to excuse at all the cruelties that have been done in the name of rigor and doctrinal purity. If those people had really been rigorous themselves, they wouldn't have been intolerant.

Too many people have misconceptions about fundamentalists. Most people think of fundamentalists as very narrow-minded, unhappy, sexually frustrated, embittered people who are intolerant of anything and everything that's different . . . and are hypocrites, to boot. That's a novelist's point of view, though. It's not based on the kind of church I grew up in.

PLOWBOY: You certainly portray fundamentalists—and, indeed, everybody—sympathetically in your "Prairie Home Companion" monologues.


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