Marilynne speaks from her own experience.
I’m always uneasy making comparisons between a culture I know and the many cultures I don’t know. But I do think that, in this context at least, it often makes people profoundly generous. It often makes people very brave. It often makes people compassionate. And when I’m among people I know who are demonstrating any of these virtues, they very often go back to a text, a verse. And one of the things I think that Christianity has contributed – at least, to the culture of Christian America, and maybe … and again I’m talking about what I know, not wishing to characterise what I don’t know – but the figure of Christ himself, who has a kind of intrinsic persuasiveness that I think makes him authoritative for many people for whom it’s neither tradition nor culture that predisposes them to that fascination or admiration.