Peculiar people

One of my favorite lines in modern "religious" fiction comes from Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood. The redoubtable country preacher, Hazel Motes, informs his landlady that he is a preacher in the "Church Without Christ" ("where the blind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays that way"). To which the woman innocently replies, "Protestant?" This is fiction and very funny, but it also reveals the author's considered appraisal of the state of southern Protestantism, especially its preachers. As a Catholic, O'Connor seems always to be asking with amazed incredulity, "What is it with these people?"


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