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What is it with religious liberals and Garrison Keillor? So many religious liberals seem to believe he walks on water, even more than they believe that of Mary Oliver. They don’t like him because Keillor is a religious liberal himself, because he obviously isn’t. Is it because so many religious liberals have a strongly ambivalent attitude towards organized religion, and Keillor is notorious for his own ambivalent attitude towards religion? After all, when it comes to religion, Keillor is sometimes mean-spirited, sometimes nostalgic, and sometimes frankly affectionate, just like religious liberals.

Perhaps Keillor’s own ambivalence towards institutional religion makes so many religious liberals like him so much. I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I don’t care for him. Keillor strikes me as misanthropic, he has that weird affected accent, and his Lake Woebegone stories are such shameless rip-offs of Stephen Leacock’s wonderful early twentieth century stories of small-town life in the prairie provinces of Canada,— except Keillor’s stories are not as well-observed, nor as humane, nor are they nearly so funny.

Let me put it this way: the great Groucho Marx admired the comic genius of Stephen Leacock. Groucho Marx did not, however, admire the comic genius of Garrison Keillor. Nothing more need be said.