Monday, October 6, 2008


Christianity Today reviews Bill Maher's polemic against religion and finds it amusing but ultimately frivolous.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

Honestly, it's not the hardest thing in the world to make a religion look silly when you only focus on the kitschiest, most grimace-inducing practitioners of it. Sure, we have to own up to these unfortunate (but fortunately fringe) elements within our ranks, but Maher shores up little credibility for his cause by refusing to talk with any opponent with an ounce of nuance of theological rigor.

Like schoolyard bullies who always pick on the kids least able to defend themselves, people like Maher always seem to mock those who are least able to articulate their beliefs or whose beliefs are the most outlandish. They never seem to have much appetite for engaging those who are their intellectual betters because they doubtless realize at some level the damage that would do to their project of embarrassing religious belief. Indeed, the Bill Mahers of the world probably realize that were they to pick on those who've actually thought about their religious convictions they themselves would be the ones who'd wind up looking silly.



Did you know that any criticism of Senator Obama's former associations is a form of racism? It's true, at least if Douglass Daniel of the AP is an authority on such matters. Writing of Sarah Palin's reference to Obama as having palled around with terrorists the racially sensitive Daniel espies racism lurking in the weeds:

Palin's words avoid repulsing voters with overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a black presidential nominee "palling around" with terrorists while assuring a predominantly white audience that he doesn't see their America?

In a post-Sept. 11 America, terrorists are envisioned as dark-skinned radical Muslims, not the homegrown anarchists of Ayers' day 40 years ago. With Obama a relative unknown when he began his campaign, the Internet hummed with false e-mails about ties to radical Islam of a foreign-born candidate.

Whether intended or not by the McCain campaign, portraying Obama as "not like us" is another potential appeal to racism. It suggests that the Hawaiian-born Christian is, at heart, un-American.

Most troubling, however, is how allowing racism to creep into the discussion serves McCain's purpose so well. As the fallout from Wright's sermons showed earlier this year, forcing Obama to abandon issues to talk about race leads to unresolved arguments about America's promise to treat all people equally.

This is absurd, of course, but what better way is there to discredit someone than to accuse them of racism? Whites, especially white liberals, generally cower in fear at the charge, but though it may have McCain's advisors trembling, I don't think it'll deter SarahCuda.

The fact is that Obama has mingled with an unsavory cast of characters (a Weatherman terrorist, an Islamic terrorist financier, a felon, a bigoted preacher), and these are facts of which the electorate should be made aware. If we're known by the company we keep the American public should be informed of what kind of people Obama has gravitated toward. If calling these associations to attention be racism then the word no longer has any meaning.

Patterico has more examples of the promiscuous use of the incendiary term against critics of the man who is the leftmost candidate for president since 1946.


Any Questions?

Why we are where we are:

Now let's all turn out in November and reward the people who caused this mess by putting their party in the White House. That makes sense, doesn't it?