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March 20, 2008 | 12 Comments

Hi Garrison,
Was a bit confused about the ELCA bit about "spiritual, but not religious" people. Are you saying that non-religious people can only either be narcissistic or "bad people"? Your show is about as evangelistic as it can get away with on our public airwaves—do you have to directly insult non-Christians, too?

Zach L.
Madison, WI

The evangelicals are going to be surprised to hear how evangelical the show is—they had thought otherwise —but you're right about Evelyn Lundberg taking a dim view of the "spiritual but not religious"
crowd. She is pretty caustic about all sorts of people,especially the young and idealistic, and she lets people have it, both barrels. "Just grow up," is her advice. "Get over yourself." If you were offended by her message, then you must've been the one it was intended for.


The show is a little bit Jesuzzie, but the goal seems to be music and stories, and Christians have written some pretty good examples of both. If we don't like it, we really better get to work at the old laptop.

Ms. Lundberg didn't offend me, but then she wasn't addressing me since I'm neither spiritual nor religious. Maybe I'm beneath contempt but ... it's nice, having everyone's contempt whistling safely over your head ...

A response that addresses my question only with more insults... Well, that's answer enough. By the way, wordsmith, please note the small "e", indicating the general sense of the word.

Right on, Mrs. L! I've found that most religious people quietly live out their faith, whereas most of the self-described "spiritual" people I've encountered wear their "sprituality" like a $50K mink coat: "I'm spiritual; I would never indulge in something as gauche as traditional religion." Bleechh!

Hi Mr. Keillor,

Don't mind Zach L., Madison, WI is often referred to as the Land of the Perpetually Offended, especially when it comes to religion and politics.
Ms. Lundberg got the mesage just right, get over yourself and grow up!

Steve K.
Madison, WI

The letter to you regarding Evelyn Lundberg's comment has prompted me to write to you about that very matter. The criticism and demonization of non-believers seems to be an acceptable behaviour for the religiously entangled, but any such criticism of religion by us non believers is met with shrieking, righteous indignation. Indeed, my reply to Christians is the same as hers "Grow up and let go of your childhood religious indoctrination" and "Get over yourself. You control your destiny, not some imaginary spirit in the sky."

I greatly enjoy your shows, and I look forward to every weekend to listen to a new episode. I have spread the word about PHC to many of my friends, who also now listen. The variety of music on and talent on PHC is truly amazing. Nothing can compare however, to The News from Lake Wobegon. And yes, I support Public Radio with donations to my local station, WNIT in Elkhart, IN.

Keep up the good work, but please, and just as you don't intentionally disparage the religious among you, don't have guests that insult your listeners who happen not to share their religious beliefs.

Clear skies.
Dennis Smith
Goshen, IN

"Get over yourself" is right. You're getting upset, Zach, over the dialog in a comedy skit? Once you get over yourself, get yourself a sense of humor.

Three hearty cheers for Evelyn Lundberg!

Yours for an open mind,

Dale T.
Citrus Heights CA

Dear Mr. Keillor and all of the PHC Crew,

I am a Bronx boy who was raised Catholic and have been attending Advent Lutheran Church on the Upper Westside of Manhattan (A Big Shout Out to Pastor J. Elise Brown!!!) for the past few years. I don't even call myself Christian as I think the Most High is too busy creatin' and destroyin' stuff across the Universe to worry about semantics.

Personally, I really loved the ELCA skit and the general acknowledgment of the Blessings and absurdities of Faith on your show. For Zach and all who took offense, I will quote Gene Wilder:

IT'S A JOKE...A JOKE!!! Don't ya know a joke when ya' hear one? HA, HA, HA!

Have a HAPPY Easter!

Yes, it was a comedy skit and anyone who doesn't get that should indeed get over themselves. But Garrison, you seem to me to be getting narrower of mind and heart if you and Evelyn really have nothing else to say to us "spiritual but not religious people" than that. We're fully grown, we're just not accustomed to hearing you weigh in so unequivocally on the side of religious reaction. (Though I have complained before about your gratuitous shots at Unitarians, which - while often funny - sometimes veer towards meanness of spirit.)

But I'm still a fan so I'll keep on listening and laughing. Tell Evelyn she's welcome to her misguided opinion. Ha Ha.

Excellent response to Zach L., Garrison!!

Maybe I'm a very thick-skinned atheist as I could not for the life of me find the "insults" to non-Christians.....

PHC is an equal opportunity abuser in offering sarcasm, criticism , & humour to everyone. As a conservative, the barbs that are thrown do get 'old', but as a Lutheran,GK produces a great program for we ELCA type people.

There are many people who are not dogmatic but have a rather meta-physically grounded perspective. Morality and ethics aren't necessarily instilled through religious practice. Likewise, religion does not always yield "good" people.

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