Lamott Disinvited, then Invited to Speak in Omaha


By Carmen Comment

Anne Lamott has been speaking around the country to packed houses for years, and so it wasn’t a surprise that Creighton University in Omaha would invite her to speak at the Joslyn Art Museum on September 19. But last Friday, the Omaha World Herald reports, the University decided to disinvite her after learning of an essay in which she helped a cancer-ridden friend die. University officials decided that Lamott’s views were inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, university spokeswoman Kathryn Clark said. “We have decided that the key points she makes are in opposition to Catholic teaching,” Clark said. “That makes her an inappropriate choice.”

But considering the essay was written ten years ago, and Lamott had no plans to talk of assisted suicide or abortion (another subject deemed too hot) then what was the problem? The disconnect helped spark outrage in Omaha among booksellers and university attendees, but it also spurred the Holland Performing Arts Center to step in. So yes, Lamott will be speaking in Omaha on September 19 after all. The kicker? The Holland Center holds 2,000 people, which will allow more people to hear Lamott. Seating at Joslyn would have allowed about 1,200 to attend. “Anne Lamott’s writing has just meant a great deal to me,” said the Rev. Nancy Brink of North Side Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who stepped in upon hearing of the cancellation. “I think she really connects with average people who struggle with meaning and real life.”