Garrison Keillor, noted author and the host of the Prairie Home Companion, attended Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco and offered his reflections in Salon.com on the Baptismal Covenant, especially the call to renounced the evil powers of this world.
Social separation breeds contempt
There is no better place to learn the delicate ballet of social skill than in a big city
I went to church in San Francisco on Sunday, the big stone church on Nob Hill, whose name is an old slang term for a rich person, where a gaggle of railroad tycoons built their palaces high above the squalid tenements of the poor back in the Gilded Age, and there with considerable pomp we baptized a dozen infants into the fellowship of faith and we renounced the evil powers of this world, which all in all is a good day’s work.
. . .
And here, this morning, in a city famous for eccentricity, we strangers in a cathedral embrace other people’s children and promise to fight the good fight in their behalf, a ceremony that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. We renounce evil powers. I renounce isolation and separation and the splendid anonymity of the Internet and the doink-doink-doink of the clicker propelling me through six Web sites in five minutes. I vow to put my feet on the ground and walk through town and make small talk with clerks and call my mother on the phone and put money in the busker’s hat. We welcome the infants into our herd and though some of them sob bitter tears at the prospect, they are now in our hearts and in our prayers and we will not easily let them go.
No word on what Keillor thinks of the Anglican Covenant…