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Strib portrays county as full of zealots

It’s not often that the metro media, in particular the Star Tribune, venture into McLeod County, unless it involves something negative.
So when the April 9 Sunday edition, front page no less, zeroed in on our county’s evangelical tendencies, it came as a surprise. “‘God’s Country’ Still Steadfast” read the headline, and the article indicated that McLeod County is one of the most conservative in the state. It is firmly lodged in the Republican camp when it comes to elections and has for generations.
Well, no kidding.
I always heard that Democrats held their McLeod County convention in a phone booth.
And I always claimed that you could prop up a dead raccoon, call it a Republican and it would get elected in McLeod County. Toss in Sibley and Meeker counties as well.
Donald Trump, the article stated, won every McLeod County precinct in the last election, which proves my point.
But the article seemed to imply that we McLeod County-ites are all evangelicals. Really? The people interviewed for the article are strangers to me. Not that I pal around with a ton of evangelicals, but I know a few. The people I see most often seems to be more unzealot-like. Like my coffee buddies, the Norwegian, who gets upset at the sight or mention of a minister, or the Swede, who seems unflappable. Republican politics and religious zealotry are not utmost in their minds.
So what was the point of the article? “Pray For Our Nation” seems to be the theme, because the country is falling apart at the seams. America is heading to hell in a hand basket. Of course, people have been saying the world is going to end for millennia. So far, the big orb called Earth is still rotating. The sun still rises each morning and sets each evening. Probably will long after we’re all gone, too.
Predictions of the apocalypse seem to grow each day as TV evangelists preach the end is near, unless you send another check to keep their ministry on the air and the preacher in nice clothing, with a great haircut.
The Star Tribune article claims that 48 percent of McLeod County residents identify themselves as evangelical, the highest in Minnesota. I’m not sure where they all are.
Me, well I’m just a regular churchgoer who struggles with my faith, like most people.
State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, may have stated it best in the Star Tribune article:  “They’re hardworking, conservative people. They have general distrust of large government and government programs. They believe in God, and they’re as self-reliant as they can be in today’s age.”
That seems to sum up my impression of the people I meet and talk to in Glencoe and McLeod County. I rarely sense they are zealots about anything other than that their property taxes are too high.
Perhaps the Star Tribune should have talked to some of the rest of us to get a more balanced article. But then it might not have confirmed its point as clearly, whatever that point might be.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014, but still plans to submit an occasional column.