Towards A Good Samaritan World

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Althouse was listening to Air America and writes:

[T]he only attempt at humor I heard from Al Franken in the hour or so I spent with him today was a joke that Donald Rumsfeld had ordered that a Bible and a Talmud be flushed down the toilet, along with an Encyclopedia Britannica "for the reality-based" people.

"Reality-based" is the latest self-indulgent epithet of the left, and the motto of Matt Yglesias's blog, among others.

What do they mean by that? Well, Franken's joke contains a clue: Leftists are (according to them) to the Britannica Encyclopedia as Christians are to the Bible and Jews are to the Talmud.

I suppose it follows that Christians (and Jews!) are as indifferent to facts as they are to the Koran?

Well, good for Franken. I like (relatively speaking) an atheist or scientific-materialist-agnostic who will come out and say straight to my face that my beliefs are fantastic and foolish. Let's argue the case!

The real threat is the condescension of those who profess to "respect" religion, but insist that "science" demands that religious people make a few marginal concessions, such as evolution, or the ordination of women, or gay marriage, or the exclusion of God from schools, in the name of "tolerance," to be followed by more concessions later, until, as they and their fellow cognoscenti reassure each other it must, religion fades away at last.


  • Condescension is indeed the appropriate term. It dovetails perfectly with Thomas Sowell's description of them as the self-anointed. They know that they're all intelligent, knowledgeable, socially and environmentally aware and concerned. Some of them undoubtedly also consider themselves to be religious; many of them are indeed Jews, Catholics or Episcopalians, in much the same way that I might be a Rotarian, Toastmaster or Elk. As a result, they no more feel the need of engaging in an actual argument with a conservative or someone with serious religious beliefs than I would feel the need to prove myself by engaging in a boxing match with my friend who suffers from MS or a debate on immigration policy or gun control with a 10-year-old. Of course, many of them who feel a proper sense of noblesse oblige delight in attempting to educate those less fortunate and unenlightened souls, much in the manner of 19th century American missionaries and British colonial officials.

    As a result of this disinclination to engage in actual reasoned argument, most of them are incredibly flabby in this area. Since so many people tend to confine their personal interactions to groups of like-minded individuals, this situation isn’t confined entirely to the anointed. Because they are unable to defend their opinions or argue their positions persuasively, they resort to ridicule, ad hominum arguments, obfuscation and bombast. If all else fails, there’s always that popular tactical withdrawal signaled by “I suppose that we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

    By Anonymous Strophyx, at 9:04 PM  

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