Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Anymore than Drag is Flattering to Women

What bothers me most about the right-wing fundamentalists is their political power, but then I’m an infidel. A believer might be even more unhappy with the Fallwells and the Dobsons and the Robertsons because they have created the impression you have to be a bigoted know-nothing to be a Christian. That’s not so healthy for the future of the real, which is to say, invisible church because even those who have signed on for the moment to reactionary religiosity may eventually weary of its somewhat artificial extremism while the merely ill-informed won’t be aware of the humane and highly-defensible outlook of people like Garry Wills or Jimmy Carter.

To the extent that professing Christianity involves adherence to elaborate metaphysical notions about things people are in no position to know, it makes a peculiar impression on an old philosopher like me, but not even I am down on practical agape. It would be a real loss if the braying Elmer Gantrys succeed in drowning out the quieter voices of the decent evangelicals, the thoughtful liberal Protestants, and the lay Catholics. And that’s true even though a seriously Christian politics would be far to the left of my own.

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