Thursday, April 21, 2005

That MoDo Mojo: Maureen Ups the Ante in The Times Columnists' War On Religion

Frequent visitors to this blog know that I am truly disgusted that the 'paper of record' gives such prominent play to such a hack as Maureen Dowd. Lately, I've watched with considerable consternation as the Times Editorial Page has gone completely ballastic on the culture war front, with attack after attack on religion disguised as political commentary. Finally, with the latest piece from Dowd, a line has been crossed that will be difficult to come back from.

Do I exaggerate? Judge for yourself...
  • ...So media big shots are moving away from patriarchal, authoritarian voice-of-God figures, even as the Catholic Church and politics are moving toward patriarchal, authoritarian voice-of-God figures. (Yes, she really did write that horrible sentence; it's beyond satire...)
  • The white smoke yesterday signaled that the Vatican thinks what it needs to bring it into modernity is the oldest pope since the 18th century: Joseph Ratzinger, a 78-year-old hidebound archconservative who ran the office that used to be called the Inquisition and who once belonged to Hitler Youth. For American Catholics - especially women and Democratic pro-choice Catholic pols - the cafeteria is officially closed. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed "God's Rottweiler" and "the Enforcer," helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians in the 2004 election.

    The only other job this pope would be qualified for is "60 Minutes" anchor. (Again, stunningly awful writing).

  • Dowd concludes with a vicious attack on the entire leadership of the Republican party, based on nothing but contempt for their religious faith. There is no other possible interpretation:
  • President Bush has also long acted as if he channeled the voice of God. And now Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are also pandering to the far-right-wing and evangelical Christians by implying that God speaks - and acts - through them, too.

    Mr. Bush's more subtle obeisance to the evangelical right is no longer enough. Puffed up with its electoral clout, the Christian right now wants politicians to genuflect openly.

    The doctor who would be president is down on both knees. He's happy to exploit religion by giving a video speech on a telecast next Sunday that will portray Democrats who block the president's judicial nominations as being "against people of faith."

    A flier for the Christian telecast, organized by the Family Research Council, shows a confused teenage boy with a Bible in one hand and a judge's gavel in the other. The text reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

    The born-again Tom DeLay has been fighting his ethical woes by acting like a martyr for some time. Dr. Frist, by contrast, was not known for playing the religious card before. But he is clearly willing to turn himself over, lock, stock and barrel, if it will help him marginalize such Christian-right faves as Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback, and garner support from those who always vote because they see elections in terms of eternity..

If that's not hostility towards religion, then I nominate the Daily Kos for sainthood...

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