Concern troll Michael Gerson last week whined about how liberals have made light of Sarah Palin's Pentecostalism. While's he's right that this might alienate religious people–the very same who brought you all things that are awesome (abolitionism and civil rights) and none of the things that are bad, (like colonialism, slavery, etc.)–whose votes the Democrats need this coming year.
It has been (correctly) pointed out elsewhere that his argument amounts to a straw man. No one has made fun of Palin's anything (her family, her religion). No one, that is, who represesents the Obama campaign or the Democratic party. If Gerson wants to be believed, he ought at least to have the honesty to name someone, someone representative (not Matt Damon) who is guilty of making light of Palin's religion. Saying "liberals" has a kind of Hannity/O'Reilly/Will kind of falsity about it, as if we're supposed to take his word for it, even though he is in many respects the ultimate partisan hack, as he was the former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
Not finished making stuff up (i.e., lying), Gerson continues sermonizing:
But it is the political effect of these attacks that must have Team McCain shouting and hollering with the joy of a frontier camp meeting. In general, liberal political and media elites demonstrate a religious diversity that runs the spectrum from secularism to liberal Episcopalianism — all the varied shades from violet to blue. Yet they assume their high church or Mencken-like disdain for religious enthusiasm is broadly shared. It was the sociologist Peter Berger who observed, "Puerto Ricans, Jews and Episcopalians each form around 2 percent of the American population. Guess which group does not think of itself as a minority."
This sounds like one of the perpetual and unfounded screeds about the evils of secularism one might hear at one's church when one goes once in a great while. It's a gross misrepresentation of liberalism, as Gerson knows, and a gross misrepresentation of secularism, as Gerson ought to know. Both of those misrepresentations, of course, amount to dishonest portrayals of one's interlocutor. Such behavior does not advance us on the road to understanding.