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Overshadowed and Choked Out
July 13, 2009 |
Post to the Host:
I notice you only occasionally mention Methodists on your show. I suppose it's possible that the Methodist Circuit Riders left Lake Wobegon to the Unitarian missionaries to the Ojibwa, but it's unlikely. In the small town in southern Wisconsin that I'm from, they needed Methodists to conduct funerals. The Catholic priest conducted funerals only for persons active in the parish and the Lutheran pastor had the same policy so it fell to the Methodist pastor to do all the funerals for the "lapsed," "fallen" and unaffiliated of the community who died. I'm guessing that there might be a very busy Methodist pastor in Mist County, MN
You might guess so, Jon, and you would be wrong. Methodism never took root in this town. Neither did Episcopalianism, Seventh-Day Adventism, spiritualism, ventriloquism, or Chisholm. Small towns generate intense social pressure and minorities tend to get overshadowed and choked out. The big city is more fertile for individuality, as you no doubt are aware. Religion in Lake Wobegon is tribal, and you're either Catholic, Lutheran, or (in our case) Sanctified Brethren. The Brethren survived there as a tiny minority because they are Separatists by nature and feel that isolation and ostracism are only proof positive that they're on the right track. Methodists are more sociable, and whatever Methodists we might have had crossed over to the Lutheran church for the company. As for funerals for the unbelievers, Pastor Ingqvist takes that on as a personal mission, and Father Wilmer is not so rigid about these things either.