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Rick Steves’ Oklahoma

Gazette staff March 28th, 2012

How appropriate that travel guru Rick Steves titled the online summary of his recent Oklahoma City visit “Travel Certainly Broadens Your Fanny.” 

The stop was part of his “20 cities in 20 days” road trip of speaking engagements, but the soft-spoken Steves used his March 10 stop at Oklahoma Christian University to get decidedly feistier than the topic of how to find the best lutefisk in Norway.

“The organizers of the talk had prepared me to be careful with the politics here,” Steves wrote. In addition to (or instead of?) broadening fannies, he encouraged the “mostly Christian crowd of Oklahomans to let travel complicate, carbonate and broaden their worldviews.”

He evidently touched upon how travel abroad can impact perceptions of “sanctity of life” and fighting poverty.

“And I got to confront the issue that while God may bless the USA, it’s hard to understand how the 4 percent of humanity who are Americans can be ‘exceptional’ in God’s eyes when God loves all his children,” Steves wrote. “University leaders thanked me afterwards for bringing these challenging ideas to their student body. It was a thrill.”

His review of Oklahoma City was kind, considering some bitterness Steves, who lives near Seattle, might be harboring toward the OKC Thunder: “They took my city’s Supersonics … Now the ‘Oklahoma City Thunder,’ my former Sonics constantly sell out games.”

That Steves — with his gentle demeanor and John Denver eyes — sure can pack a zinger.

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