John on January 27, 2006 at 8:22 am
The Times is on a roll this week. Earlier they ran the piece by Joel Stein which began “I do not support the troops.” Stein then made the mistake of taking his case on the Hugh Hewitt show where he was quickly revealed for the shallow thinker he is.
Today, the Times has this piece by Rosa Brooks commenting on the recent “spiritual vision” of Naomi Wolf (which I wrote about here). Essentially this is a companion piece to Stein’s. The gist is “I do not support the church.” Brooks atheist stemwinder is meant to mock Wolf but its real target is American Christianity. In service of that goal, Brooks offers us this history:
Our shores were settled by the Pilgrims, who were brave, brilliant and â€” face it â€” absolutely nuts. They arrived in the New World and lost no time before starting to denounce one another as heretics. Before the century was out, they had managed to hang 19 witches. Then there was the Great Awakening and the Wesleyan revival and the rise of “televangelism,” to mention but a few episodes of American religious fervor.
She then allows that Christianity did fuel the abolitionist movement. Well thanks, Rosa, for your generosity of spirit. I’m thinking there may be a few notable things you left out between the Great Awakening and televangelism. Ever hear of someone named MLK? He’s got a holiday coming up. Look into it.
As for witches, I don’t think you have to look past this column to see that the tendency to denounce the “misfit” is still there. Rosa Brooks has spotted one and this column is little more than a high-tech lynching.