Bigotry biting bigots


David Limbaugh has a fascinating discussion of former Senator (and family friend) John Danforth's column in the New York Times, lamenting the increasing role of Christians in the Republican Party. The fact David knows Danforth and respects him so much makes the discussion all the more poignant and powerful.

The fact is that values directly affect political action. The further fact is that for many people religion is the wellspring of their values. In the United States, the vast majority of people active in politics and motivated by religion are Christians, although there are many Jews, Muslims, Buuddhists, Hundus, and others as well.

At the nub of the issue, it seems to me, is the dismaying fact that disdain for serious Christians, the ones who live their faith and are not shy about proclaiming the importance of Jesus to them, as their faith commands them to do, is widespread among the urban coastal elites — what we have come to call blue state Americans. It is truly the last acceptable bigotry — at least among those who consider themselves sophisticated and enlightened.

This bigotry will continue to affect American politics and culture for years, as it has for decades past. In my opinion, it hurts and will continue to marginalize the bigots, not the Christians they scorn. Caught—up in their own desperation to be better than others, they cannot see how ugly their scorn appears to the rest of us.

All this is not to minimize the unfortunate fact that extremists on both sides of the Schiavo (and other) question(s) sometimes say and do ugly things. But the cultural dominance and social status of those who practice Christophobia make its practitioners attractive to many who should know better, and also makes them particularly vulnerable to the perils of arrogance.

Thomas Lifson   3 30 05