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Keillor at ACU

October 22, 2008

I have responded to a Garrison Keillor posting on Salon about his recent visit to Abilene and ACU.  I will save you the trouble of (s)linking out and give you here what I said there:

Doing a show

Keillor was in town to do his show. He went to the largest of the three university/colleges in town (Abilene Christian U.), set up shop, and performed. I have little doubt that the city performed as well.

I went to school in Abilene, got a couple of degrees and scooted out, mainly to leave just the sort of folk Keillor, seemingly, pays homage to. Religious and conservative, yes. Willing to help out a neighbor, yes. Bigoted and small-minded, yes. Intolerant, yes. They would hear Palin paint them as more American than the big Eastern cities and feel justified and complete.

Are there liberal Democrats in Abilene (West Texas)? Yes, and I am sure some of them listen to the local NPR station as well. However, Keillor could have been less of an entertainer and more of a teller of America had he opened his eyes just a little more.

He sat in Moody Auditorium where ACU students sit every day at 11:00, swiping their ID cards for attendance (there are penalties for skipping). He looked around at all of the clean (dare I say, white) faces, heard them sing (they sing well) and wondered what all of the fuss was about. He should have also asked how such a nice, Christian group could profess Christian love on the one hand and sanction war on the other. How they live their lives of religious intolerance (ecumenical the Church of Christ–the patrons of ACU–are not).

If you ever want to go back Mr. Keillor, I will show you an Abilene more worthy of your efforts.

  1. PhilosopherP permalink
    October 22, 2008 1:52 pm

    For the record, as a Minnesotan, Keilor isn’t one of us anymore.

  2. October 22, 2008 4:25 pm

    I wrote this note sitting in an office in Minnetonka. Somehow, being in the same general metropolitan area didn’t help my take on his op-ed.

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