Op-Ed

Meet our letter writers: Lawrence E. Durr

Lawrence E. Durr

Retired Presbyterian minister, 82, Lexington; four children, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, wife deceased; active in community affairs and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kentucky

What motivates you to write?

I have been writing for most of my life. I became hooked on English grammar in high school, did business school after high school where I learned more about grammar and punctuation, earned a doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and, as a pastor, wrote sermons for 34 years, every one with a full manuscript.

I get great satisfaction from expressing an idea or describing a subject in vivid, concise English. I firmly believe the pen is mightier than the sword, and I hope newspapers never cease to exist.

What shaped your worldview?

My life views have been shaped largely by two factors: I grew up in western Maryland with seven siblings and a miner as a father. Very early, I became aware of the struggle of an American laborer to raise a family and of the privileges of the wealthy, of the disparity between the haves and have-nots.

The second factor was my family's religious grounding. My parents were members of The Church of the Brethren, a product of the Anabaptist movement in l6th century Germany. The literal interpretation of the Bible adopted by this group resulted in a great emphasis on social justice and a concern for the poor and vulnerable. Although I have long since left that denomination, the lessons and values of those early years remain with me.

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