It's a big, complex and confusing world out there. That's why we need wise guides to help us make our way -- guides like Benjamin Anastas, who clearly tells us where all the dumbass religious folks are so we can stay the heck away:
There is perhaps no greater mutual misunderstanding in contemporary American life than that between the literary class and churchgoers in Colorado Springs (or Houston, or Orange County).
In case you're asking who Anastas is, where he gets his geo-intellectual insights, and where he published his verdict on the unbearable lightness of churchgoers in particular locales, here's what we know about these three questions:
(1) He's a writer;
(2) You've got me;
(3) In a review of Mary Gordon's A Writer's Encounter With the Gospels published in yesterday's New York Times Book Review. (As for what the comment about churchgoers Colorado, Texas and California has to do with Gordon's book, you've got me again.)
Thank God that I live outside the city limits of Colorado Springs, so Anastas is not talking about me. Otherwise he would be including millions people in his three Axes of Idiocy. That's a lot of dumbasses!
Thank God, too, that I didn't go to church yesterday. I find that even if I have been reading serious literature on Saturday night or The New York Times Book Review on Sunday morning, everything good in my brain evaporates as soon as I pull into the megachurch parking lot (dumbasses seem to prefer really big churches).
PEN, an organization of poets, playwrights, essayists, editors, and novelists, has a page on its web site that says:
Benjamin Anastas was born in 1969 in Gloucester, Massachusetts....Anastas lives and writes alternately in Brooklyn and Tuscany.
The site also features the PEN Charter, which says:
MEMBERS OF PEN should at all times use what influence they have in favor of good understanding and mutual respect among nations; they pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class, and national hatreds and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in the world.
Pen members also:
...pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood, and distortion of facts for political and personal ends.
Thank God that these lofty principles apply to "humanity," not to literature hating, churchgoing dumbasses!