The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Culture Wars? That's pinko talk, comrade.

Atheist-as-threat-to-America is one of those 80's throwbacks that went on hiatus for most of the country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But just as the reactionaries have dominated political discourse in the Bush era, we've seen the resurrection of 'commies' and 'atheists' as bogeymen-- just try to think of it as twenty years sillier instead of twenty years more exasperating.

In his December 3 New York Times column (subscription required), Nicholas D. Kristof condemned the "fundamentalist" writings of atheists such as Oxford University professor Richard Dawkins and author Sam Harris, claiming that "the tone of this Charge of the Atheist Brigade is often just as intolerant -- and mean" as that of Christian conservatives. Kristof concluded his column by claiming that "the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars," adding that he hopes "that the Atheist Left doesn't revive them." Kristof provided no support for his assertion. Nor did he explain how it squares with recent actions by Christian conservative leaders.

Good ol' Media Matters follows with a number of examples demonstrating Kristof's hackery, just in case you need them. One example that also happened to appear on my blog is this one:

The Times itself recently noted that Christian Coalition of America (CCA) president-elect Rev. Joel C. Hunter stepped down because CCA's executive board had "resisted his [Hunter's] efforts to broaden its agenda to include reducing poverty and fighting global warming." The Times noted that Hunter "has gained a reputation as an evangelical leader seeking to expand the agenda of conservative Christian activists from issues like abortion and same-sex marriage."