The Wouldsman

It's time again to play the Sesame Street game: "which one of these things is not like the other? with Nicholas Kristof.  In Yesterday's column he writes:

At a New York or Los Angeles cocktail party, few would dare make a pejorative comment about Barack Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s sex. Yet it would be easy to get away with deriding Mike Huckabee’s religious faith.

Oh the intolerant liberals!  This is what you would hear (not what he did hear).  It gets worse:

Liberals believe deeply in tolerance and over the last century have led the battles against prejudices of all kinds, but we have a blind spot about Christian evangelicals. They constitute one of the few minorities that, on the American coasts or university campuses, it remains fashionable to mock.

Stunning tu quoque: how hypocritical are the liberals for making fun of a guy–oops, for being the type of people who would make fun of a guy (1) who wants to amend the Constitution to be in line with God's standards; (2) claimed that had Jesus been against the death penalty he would have said something about it on the cross; (3) doesn't believe the theory of evolution explains the organization of diversity of life; (4) compares non-heterosexual partnerships to bestiality, and much more.  I can't believe someone would make light of those beliefs.  Oddly, the rest of the article goes on to point out that many evangelicals do not have the laughably ridiculous beliefs of, say, Mike Huckabee:

Look, I don’t agree with evangelicals on theology or on their typically conservative views on taxes, health care or Iraq. Self-righteous zealots like Pat Robertson have been a plague upon our country, and their initial smugness about AIDS (which Jerry Falwell described as “God’s judgment against promiscuity”) constituted far grosser immorality than anything that ever happened in a bathhouse. Moralizing blowhards showed more compassion for embryonic stem cells than for the poor or the sick, and as recently as the 1990s, evangelicals were mostly a constituency against foreign aid.

So let's get this straight.  Liberals are intolerant for opposing the views of intolerant people because some other less intolerant people aren't as  intolerant as those intolerant people liberals make fun of. 

One final point.  Barack Obama's race and Hilary Clinton's sex don't entail that non-females and non-blacks have done something wrong or ought to be punished for their difference.  Race, sex and faith are not members of the same category.

2 thoughts on “The Wouldsman”

  1. How logically intolerant of you. Kristoff has the right to be wrong, you know.

    Seriously, though, I think Kristoff is conflating the expression of caution surrounding Huckabee’s “faith” with some more snide, sarcastic shots at evangelicalism in general. When Huckabee makes the statements you enumerate, these nebulous “liberals” aren’t laughing at him; they’re cringing in fear that 16-20% of the Republican electorate thinks he should lead the country. Caution should be expressed when a man who wishes to lead this country displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic principles of American democracy. That’s not intolerance, it’s simply pointing out that the Rev. Huckabee is simply not qualified for the job.

  2. Also note how intolerant Kristoff is of Falwell, Robertson, and 1990s evangelicals. How did we ever get so lucky as to have people like Nicholas Kristoff to tell us which people of faith can and cannot be criticized for their beliefs, and when.


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