Thursday, May 05, 2005

Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes & George Will

George Will writes about religion in American life:
The state of America's political discourse is such that the president has felt it necessary to declare that unbelievers can be good Americans. In last week's prime-time news conference, he said: "If you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship."
So Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes and a long, luminous list of other skeptics can be spared the posthumous ignominy of being stricken from the rolls of exemplary Americans.
So even George Bush (or perhaps it's Karl Rove) recognizes that they need to occassionally tone down the Republican drumbeat on behalf of the religious right.
George Will correctly identifies the Christian complaints of victimization as particularly distateful:
Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." . . . But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

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