Saturday, September 06, 2008

Palin, Evangelicals, and the Secular Media

John Podhoretz (who is Jewish) responds to the new NYT article on Sarah Palin and her evangelical convictions, calling it "an act of secular aggression against a believing Christian." Here's his conclusion:

There should be nothing exceptional to anyone in this country at this date about a politician who is also a believing Christian and who therefore thinks she owes her ascension to office to the role of the divine. What Palin said wasn’t even notable; it was what might be called Christian boilerplate.

The point here is that by treating the views of such people as though they are exotically fascinating at best and terrifyingly Other at worst, and by highlighting the views of a prominent Christian in an article intended to frighten rather than enlighten its readership, the New York Times (and those organizations sure to follow it down this path) only makes it likely that any ideological journey evangelicals might take this year will not be to the left, but back into the bosom of the Right.

Who wants to make friends with people who treat you with such contempt?

Read the whole thing.

Update: Ross Douthat: "There's a fine line between condescension and painful literal-mindedness, and sentences like "her foundation and source of guidance is the Bible, and with it has come a conviction to be God's servant" and "Mr. Kroon ... a soft-spoken, bearded Alaska native, said he was convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the task of believers is to ponder and analyze the book for meaning" could be read either as attempts to make totally banal Christian beliefs sound exotic and peculiar, or as attempts to convey, well, totally banal Christian beliefs in the most literal terms possible. On the first read, I inclined strongly toward the former interpretation, but it's quite possible that I'm letting the bizarre hysteria with which reports like this one are being greeted elsewhere on this site color my reaction to the reports themselves, and I'll try to control that impulse."