Religion in the Big Tent
by Nancy Scola, Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 09:00:25 AM EST
As has been widely documentedelsewhere, the Catholic League's William Dononhue holds opinions that would make good right-wing blog copy had he a more clever way with words. I can't quite get over the fact that is a man who blames Mel Gibson's anti-semiticisms on him being liquored up, Michael Richards' racial outbursts on him being upset, and Isaiah Washington's anti-gay slurs on him being ticked off -- in the very statement he puts out as a condemnation of bigotry. As for Edwards, well, people who he hired then hired Amanda Marcotte, and he no choice than to stand by her. A decent boss doesn't fire a new employee for something that he should have known about her all along -- in fact, the very thing he brought her into his employ to do. It's not as if Amanda had little boys squirreled away in a closet somewhere. These were her public writings posted on the Internet and signed with her very name. For my money, I would have preferred Edwards had gone with a simple "I hired her. I'm okay with it. Move on." But at least he seemed to understand that he was the target of a political hit by a political actor, did a decent job defending himself.
That said (here it comes), Amanda of course has all the freedom in the world to write every last hot, white, sticky word she posted. God bless America! But to then claim 'hey, just kidding, -- it was never anyone's intention to "malign anyone's faith"' seems to me an unfortunate dodge. Bigot is an ugly word. And it's absurd to claim to know that Amanda is anti-Catholic deep within her soul because of a few blog posts. But in her writings she certainly warmly embraced the tactic of mocking that faith. To pretend otherwise is to run away from a nut that does need to be cracked at some point: have we made the Democratic tent big enough to welcome religious activists without constantly snickering behind their backs? Right now we're seeing more and more American Christians connecting the dots between global warming and being stewards of the earth. Right on and keep it coming. Whether someone really thinks that they're eating the body and blood of their messiah is far, far less a concern to me than whether they walk the walk of a social teaching that condemns inequality and champions justice.