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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unlikely Disciple

I tend to salivate with glee over any effort to debunk the religious right.
Along comes a book by twenty year old Kevin Roose called "The Unlikely Disciple".
While a sophomore at Brown, Roose took a semester's leave to study at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

Roose describes himself as a pacifist Quaker from Oberlin, Ohio.
Since I'm a pacifist Quaker outta Catholic schools in Boston 100 years ago, I thought myself and the young Kevin could gloat and salivate together, and get along fine.

Boy, was I wrong.

Make no mistake, this book chronicles support groups for chronic masturbators, and makes no bones (okay bad pun) about Liberty's rampant homophobia. There's also the little issue of "If you're not saved, you're going to hell, even if you are Mother Teresa". I could shake my head, but I realize that I was taught the same thing forty years ago. (Pray for our lovely Jewish neighbors. Offer it up.) We all need to grow up, me included.

Roose humbles me by his sense of fairness. No, I doubt he's planning to buy a house on the Liberty campus. An Unlikely Disciple is very well written, fair, compassionate and funny. He likes a lot of the people he meets at Liberty and you will, too.
It's a good book more about what joins us than what separates us. You go, Kevin!

Still, its hard to imagine Mother Teresa as "not saved". Sigh.