Posts Tagged “andrew sullivan”

Picard Facepalm: Because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesnt workThe Rob Bell controversy has been kicked up anew because of the Time magazine article I blogged about a couple days ago. Mediate reports that it even became a topic of discussion on Chris Matthews’s weekly show (WebCite cached article):

On Sunday morning’s The Chris Matthews Show, host Chris Matthews asked his panel to debate Time Magazine’s recent cover story on the existence of Hell.

Mediate offers video of this segment, which thankfully is just under 4 minutes long:

The panel was all over the place:

Veering off-topic somewhat, Matthews asked “Why does the right wing love the Old Testament so much?”

Joe Klein noted that they “like Revelation better,” while Andrew Sullivan offered that “Jesus loved the poor. He thought they were better than the rich.”

I’m not sure how useful this discussion was. It’s painful to watch Sullivan pontificate on what Hell is and isn’t. Just goes to show how, when a discussion of religion comes up within the mass media, the floodgates of “stupid” tend to open wide and pretty soon we’re all up to our knees in idiocy.

Nevertheless, Matthews had a good point about the Right’s obsession with the Old Testament, as did Joe Klein in his remark about how the Right loves the book of Revelation “better.”

Photo credit: Picard Facepalm.

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Andrew Sullivan, journalist and pioneering blogger whose views mostly have been in support of conservatism in the U.S., has decided to divest himself from the Right — and for reasons similar to my own for having done so. Earlier this week, he wrote:

It’s an odd formulation in some ways as “the right” is not really a single entity. But in so far as it means the dominant mode of discourse among the institutions and blogs and magazines and newspapers and journals that support the GOP, Charles Johnson is absolutely right in my view to get off that wagon for the reasons has has stated. Read his testament. It is full of emotion, but also of honesty.

In case you don’t know, Charles Johnson is another pioneering blogger, the man behind the Right-leaning blog Little Green Footballs. Sullivan goes on to say:

The relationship of a writer to a party or movement is, of course, open to discussion. I understand the point that Jonah Goldberg makes that politics is not about pure intellectual individualism; it requires understanding power, its organization and the actual choices that real politics demands. You can hold certain principles inviolate and yet also be prepared to back politicians or administrations that violate them because it’s better than the actual alternatives at hand. I also understand the emotional need to have a default party position, other things being equal. But there has to come a point at which a movement or party so abandons core principles or degenerates into such a rhetorical septic system that you have to take a stand. It seems to me that now is a critical time for more people whose principles lie broadly on the center-right to do so – against the conservative degeneracy in front of us.

Unfortunately, I saw conservatism’s “degeneracy” years ago and broke from it then. (Yes, I was a Republican party activist through the ’90s, despite my Agnosticism. It was not, then, an impediment to working for the Republican party in my home state of Connecticut. It would, however, very likely prevent me from being involved in the Republican party now; the non-religious no longer even have a home among Connecticut’s “moderate” Republicans.)

The chief reason for my departure was the GOP’s increasingly militant religiosity and the growing power of dominionists and quasi-dominionists within its ranks. As it happens, Sullivan also cites the Right’s religiosity as one point in his own indictment of the Right:

I cannot support a movement that holds that purely religious doctrine should govern civil political decisions and that uses the sacredness of religious faith for the pursuit of worldly power.

This is, of course, not new. Others associated with the Right have also noticed, and been repulsed by, the hyperreligiosity of US conservatism (e.g. Kathleen Parker, about whom I’ve blogged already). Hopefully, Sullivan’s mention of Right-wing religious militancy will be picked up by more people, and maybe this time someone will actually pay attention.

Then again, with the popularity of ardent religionists and quasi-dominionists among the Right (e.g. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, etc.), I doubt Sullivan’s critique will be enough. More than likely, the sanctimoniously-blinded Right will just cast aside Sullivan’s indictment by asserting that “he was never really a conservative,” and thus dismiss him. More’s the pity.

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