Andrew Sullivan, the renowned gynecologist who spends most of his time attempting to prove that Sarah Palin could not be the mother of her son Trig, on ABC This Week yesterday began the work of establishing that Obama is going down to defeat because of racism.
This is a column he wrote after the video above:
I think America is currently in a Cold Civil War. The parties, of course, have switched sides since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The party of the Union and Lincoln is now the Democratic party. The party of the Confederacy is now the GOP. And racial polarization is at record levels, with whites entirely responsible for reversing Obama’s 2008 inroads into the old Confederacy in three Southern states. You only have to look at the electoral map in 1992 and 1996, when Clinton won, to see how the consolidation of a Confederacy-based GOP and a Union-based Democratic party has intensified – and now even more under a black president from, ahem, Illinois
I will leave to others a determination as to the skill of Sullivan as a gynecologist, but in constructing historical parallels he reeks. A few thoughts:
1. Race and Obama-Obama is likely to end up with some 38% of the white vote and 95% of the black vote. I don’t construe anything from this, but if race were regarded as a factor in voting, it would seem that Obama’s overwhelming support among blacks might be considered to have a racial factor behind it, if it is assumed, as Sullivan does, that whites voting against Obama are motivated by race.
2. What a large Confederacy- I did not know that the Confederacy included such states as Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and, probably, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and, perhaps, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and, in that northern bastion of Dixie, a congressional district in Maine. Continue reading
Some things truly do not need any commentary, but this is too sweet a target to forego the obligatory ducks in a barrel:
1. Somebody buy our rag, please!: Newsweek has been suffering financial woes for a very long time. Since 2007 it has lost 50% of its subscribers. I assume that the management at Newsweek now thinks they have nothing to lose from being an open arm of the Democrat party, rather than a hidden arm of that party, which was their usual mode of operation in the good old days, for them, when the magazine actually managed to make money.
2. Bubble people: The powers that be at Newsweek obviously live in an ideological bubble where calling Obama the First Gay President will help him. Most of the country does not inhabit that bubble.
3. Halo Twofer: The halo above the President is of course no accident. The folks at Newsweek regard Obama as a saint, if not higher in the celestial hierarchy. As for gays, they are by definition on the side of the angels, a somewhat patronizing attitude on TV these days where gays are trotted out to deliver lines filled with wit, wisdom and tolerance, occupying the slot previously alloted in television land decades ago to ministers, priests, nuns and rabbis.
4. Not a Put On: No clever satire is intended by Newsweek. They are in deadly earnest. More is the pity.
5. The meaning of Gay: Judging from my teenage daughter’s use of the term, “gay”, among the younger generation, frequently means “lame” or “weak”. In that sense Obama is most assuredly a gay president, albeit far from the first one. Continue reading
It’s Easter, so naturally it’s time for idiocy like Newsweek’s cover story written by Andrew Sullivan. It looks like Sullivan has added theologian to his list of other professions, which include pundit and gynecologist. It’s about what you’d expect from the combination of Newsweek and Sullivan. Christianity is dying and it’s because of all those stuffed-shirts who have distorted Jesus’s message.
Fr. Barron is on the case, and he completely dismantles Sullivan. A few highlights:
The solution Sullivan proposes is a repristinizing of Christianity, a return to its roots and essential teachings. And here he invokes, as a sort of patron saint, Thomas Jefferson, who as a young man literally took a straight razor to the pages of the New Testament and cut out any passages dealing with the miraculous, the supernatural, or the resurrection and divinity of Jesus.
The result of this Jeffersonian surgery is Jesus the enlightened sage, the teacher of timeless moral truths concerning love, forgiveness and non-violence. Both Jefferson and Sullivan urge that this Christ, freed from churchly distortions, can still speak in a liberating way to an intelligent and non-superstitious audience.
As the reference to Jefferson should make clear, there is nothing particularly new in Sullivan’s proposal. The liberation of Jesus the wisdom figure from the shackles of supernatural doctrine has been a preoccupation of much of the liberal theology of the last 200 years.
The Jefferson “Bible” is, if nothing else, an impressive work of art. Jefferson took passages from Scripture written in English, Latin, Greek, and French. He carefully pasted the passages side-by-side. It’s an awesome display of craftsmanship. Of course it completely distorts the life and mission of Christ and turns our Lord and Saviour into nothing more than a wise philosopher. It’s a good representation of Jefferson’s uber-rationalistic mindset, and part of an extended effort to de-fang the real Christ.
Fr. Barron has more.
The first problem with this type of theorizing is that it has little to do with the New Testament. As Jefferson’s Bible makes clear, the excision of references to the miraculous, to the resurrection, and to the divinity of Jesus delivers to us mere fragments of the Gospels.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were massively interested in the miracles and exorcisms of Jesus and they were positively obsessed with his dying and rising. The Gospels have been accurately characterized as “passion narratives with long introductions.”
Further, the earliest Christian texts that we have are the epistles of St. Paul, and in those letters that St. Paul wrote to the communities he founded, there are but a tiny handful of references to the teaching of Jesus. What clearly preoccupied Paul was not the moral doctrine of Jesus, but the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Indeed, by removing the miracles and resurrection from the account of Jesus’s life you’ve almost completely stripped his mission of any meaning.
And this leads to the second major problem with a proposal like Sullivan’s. It offers absolutely no challenge to the powers that be. It is precisely the bland and harmless version of Christianity with which the regnant culture is comfortable.
Go back to Peter’s sermon for a moment. “You killed him,” said the chief of Jesus’s disciples. The “you” here includes the power structures of the time, both Jewish and Roman, which depended for their endurance in power on their ability to frighten their subjects through threats of lethal punishment.
“But God raised him.” The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the clearest affirmation possible that God is more powerful than the corrupt and violent authorities that govern the world — which is precisely why the tyrants have always been terrified of it. When the first Christians held up the cross, the greatest expression of state-sponsored terrorism, they were purposely taunting the leaders of their time: “You think that frightens us?”
The opening line of the Gospel of Mark is a direct challenge to Rome: “beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1). “Good news” (euangelion in Mark’s Greek) was a term used to describe an imperial victory. The first Christian evangelist is saying, not so subtly, that the real good news hasn’t a thing to do with Caesar.
Rather, it has to do with someone whom Caesar killed and whom God raised from the dead. And just to rub it in, he refers to this resurrected Lord as the “Son of God.” Ever since the time of Augustus, “Son of God” was a title claimed by the Roman emperor. Not so, says Mark. The authentic Son of God is the one who is more powerful than Caesar.
Again and again, Sullivan says that he wants a Jesus who is “apolitical.” Quite right — and that’s just why the cultural and political leaders of the contemporary West will be perfectly at home with his proposal. A defanged, privatized, spiritual teacher poses little threat to the status quo.
This is a great passage, and one of the reasons that Fr. Barron is truly a treasure. I love how he completely turns around Sullivan’s argument and makes him the champion of the status quo. It’s a really great insight, and one that completely sticks it to Dr. Sullivan. Well played.
(Thanks RL for the tip.)
I don’t like to write about Andrew Sullivan. At this point he should be treated like a troll, meaning it is best to ignore him. Every now and then it is good to be reminded that Andrew Sullivan has clearly lost his mind.
Most of you have probably read this email that Sarah Palin sent before she gave birth to Trig. She actually published this in her book, but today it has garenerd wider attention. It’s a rather touching expression of her faith, and is one of the most beautiful pro-life testimonies you’ll ever read.
One would also think that it’s further proof – not that any is really needed save for disturbed individuals like Sullivan – that Sarah Palin is in fact Trig’s mother.
Earlier today there was a replay of the Michael Medved show where he interviewed Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground. Kay and Medved discussed the nature of the conspiracist mindset, and Kay emphasized that there is really not much point in trying to rebut these folks with facts, because they are impervious to all evidence. Listening to Kay, and then reading Sullivan’s latest screed one is reminded of the futility of trying to deal with such people.
So can we please shun Andrew Sullivan and stop treating him like he’s even a remotely credible journalist of any kind? No more linking – not even to rebut the man. Yeah I know I just spent 250 words on the guy, but I guess I’m still in shock that there are people still willing to give this man a platform. For as absolutely batty Sullivan is, the Daily Beast should be ashamed of employing him.
(On a side note, the critics of Kay’s book as well as Sullivan ought really to read my previous post.)
Update: Andrew Sullivan actually responded to an email that I sent him. Notice anything about the grammar?
show me some evidence. any evidence. then handle all the evidence i
i’m not insane. but palin sure is. when she produces the medical
records i asked for two and half years ago, i will stop asking
why not email her to ask her to clear this up? or do you suspect she cannot?
Yes, clearly we are dealing with a very lucid mind.