The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


February 2, 2007

'Irreverent' Molly

Of course, “irrepressibly irreverent.” Those are the first words used to describe Molly Ivins in her obituary that ran yesterday in the Chicago Tribune, where I ate up her political columns along with my oatmeal in the morning.

And then I got to work and opened my e-mail. There was a note from my younger son,  “Sad news....” and linked me to her obit on MSNBC.com. It said that Ivins “made a living poking fun at politicians.”

Well, yes. But, still, I protest.

Molly was about more, much more, than getting or giving a good chuckle. When I finished a column, admittedly enjoying her witty way with words—I saw things differently. Day after day.

Molly, to me, was reverent in her very irreverence. She was like an Old Testament prophet who sees what the good folks, the business-as-usual crowd, the movers-and-shakers, the comfortable, the busy—that’s most of us—don’t see (or don’t want to see) and then shows us how it is.

She never wrote that “how it is” isn’t God’s vision for the people. But that’s what I read.

A quote of hers in the Trib obit tells her own explanation of how she got to be what she was: “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point—race. Once your figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.”

Thanks for the questions, Molly. May we keep on asking them.


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