Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm famous... again!

Wow, I turn my back for a a spell and look what happens: 1400 hits in just three days! Apparently I touched a nerve with my latest post. One Jonah Goldberg at some obscure communal blog called "the corner" (as in: "put on the 'dunce' cap, young man, and go sit in the corner") is none too pleased with something I wrote about... let's see.... oh yeah... about Jonah Goldberg:

...this blogger at "The Patriot's Quill" writes:

That a conservative Jew feels the need to pander to his conservative audience by proselytizing for Christianity is a quite remarkable testament to the failure of American conservatism to speak to an audience beyond the Christian pulpit. It should also dishearten those conservatives who cling to the improbable belief that Jews will soon begin deserting the Democratic party in large numbers for the GOP, and those who fear that the GOP is becoming a largely insular, regional party. No, Christianity is not a "regional" religion per se, but this brand of fundamentalist Christianity is largely relegated to the American South and has little hope of establishing itself in the more urban, industrialized, more culturally diverse and better educated regions of the nation.

Where this isn't clichéd, it's just dopey. There's no proselytizing in that column and if you think there is, it's a sign of your own insecurities not of my need to pander, never mind proselytize, to anyone.

Once again, this is what Goldberg wrote in his column:
Ross Douthat in the New York Times, [criticizes the film Avatar] as an “apologia for pantheism.” Douthat’s criticisms hit the mark, but the most relevant point was raised by John Podhoretz in The Weekly Standard. Cameron wrote Avatar, says Podhoretz, “not to be controversial, but quite the opposite: He was making something he thought would be most pleasing to the greatest number of people.”

What would have been controversial is if — somehow — Cameron had made a movie in which the good guys accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts.
Now, Goldberg thinks it "clichéd" and "dopey" that I'm taken aback by the extent to which he is willing to regurgitate the truly clichéd and dopey memes of evangelical Christian victimology --this wholly idiotic notion that Christians are the one group that is truly persecuted in contemporary American culture-- even though he is a member of an ethnic and religious group that has a far greater historical claim to victimization and marginalization in U.S. society. Indeed, Goldberg promotes this laughable notion with rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from Christian evangelism, as evidenced by the quoted paragraph: "What would have been controversial is if — somehow — Cameron had made a movie in which the good guys accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts."

Now, in his riposte to my blog post, Goldberg proudly wears the label of "defender of the poor oppressed Christians of America" while rejecting the notion that he could possibly be perceived as engaging in Christian proselytism in the above passage:
If this guy wanted to whine about how I was buying into the standard conservative narrative about "Christophobia" and Christians being the only permissible victims in pop culture, that would be fair game. Many — but by no means all — liberals disagree with that line of argument, and that's fine. But I think that the complaint is largely true — and that was the obvious point of that line.

The notion that I'm hawking Christianity here is just stupid, revealingly stupid. It's almost as if saying anything in defense of Christians or even saying anything about Christians that isn't objectively criticial counts as "proselytizing." After all, plainly read, my comments in that column are neither in fact pro- nor anti-Christian.

But Goldberg's claims are disingenuous at best. The phrase "accept Jesus Christ into your heart" is so evocative, so tied up in the rhetoric of evangelical Christianity as to be indistinguishable from from its promotion. He might as well have slapped a Jesus fish on the bumper of his car and replaced his doorbell with a chime that plays "Amazing Grace" with that one. After all, Goldberg could just as easily have written "What would have been controversial is if — somehow — Cameron had made a movie in which the good guys Converted to Christianity." In so doing, he would have effectively made the point he claims to have been making in neutral and objective language. But instead Goldberg feels compelled to echo the rhetoric of born again Christianity and in so doing comes off sounding much more like the president of the local chapter of Jews for Jesus than a supposedly serious political opinion columnist.

Now, is Goldberg genuinely and honestly proselytizing in the offending Los Angeles Times piece I've been quoting from? Probably about as much as Ann Coulter is genuinely and honestly expressing firmly held beliefs every time she opens that disingenuous piehole of hers and starts mouthing off on the scientific inadequacy of the theory of Evolution. Which is to say: not at all. Hell, I doubt that even a miniscule minority of the legions of Pharisees that comprise the Republican, Holier than Thou, God Squad give a tinker's damned about Christianity or even of spirituality broadly speaking. Wedge issues are the only thing the Right knows... divide and conquer is their motto: whether it be God, gays, or racial politics, wherever a GOP strategist sees and opening to carve out the 51% majority needed to secure the next tax break for the needy top 1% the Republican machine will start working that angle. The promotion of evangelical Christianity is just one such device, as it helps drive a wedge between those who view it as their mission in life to convert the entire planet to their religious viewpoint and those who want to send their children to school without worrying about whether their history teacher will leverage his position of authority to try and convert them to their own peculiar brand of religious enthusiasm.

Does it surprise me that Goldberg is all too happy and eager to whore himself out to the Christian right in so obvious and vulgar a fashion just to ensure that our nation remains a top-heavy plutocracy in which those people who have more money than they could spend in 1000 lifetimes aren't called upon to relieve some of the suffering of those who spend their miserable lives in a daily struggle to avoid complete dispossession? It surprises me no more than that Goldberg and those like him are all to happy to savagely demonize a group of people whose only crime is the desire to be afforded the same right and privileges to love a person of the same sex that society confers upon those who wish to spend their lives with a member of the opposite sex. 51% is their ultimate goal, and it matters little whose ox is gored or who gets trampled in getting there.

Conservative columnists are at at their core, mere whores, and I for one, expect nothing from whores but whoring.

3 comments:

Thelema said...

Interesting posts you have, though I think Christianity is dead and will be redeemed and brought to fruition and perfection through Thelema. Check out my blog at http://christianityisdead.wordpress.com/ if you will. Love is the law, love under will. ;)

blogenfreude said...

Jonah is one of the worst products of the wingnut-welfare system. Like Bill Kristol before him, a bile-spewing parent paved his way. I believe Jonah has reproduced, so the cycle, sadly, perpetuates itself.

Mo MoDo said...

Maybe all the Navi could get their tails circumcised and join The Tribe.