Friday, October 05, 2007

Wellsir, never thought I'd hear myself saying this, but...

...Michael Kinsley is partly right about something.

You construe me correctly. I never thought I'd be forced to say he was even partly right about anything. If you don't know Kinsley, he's a sniveling little far-left sock-puppet who seems to hate Jesus and anyone who might seem, however remotely, to have anything to do with Him or values derived therefrom. He used to be a co-host of CNN's screamfest "Crossfire." Listening to him was excruciating, and I tried to avoid it. Kinsley can't speak without a sneer, and proper sneering calls for a height which Kinsley never attained.

Kinsley's one of those kids in Junior High who sat at the back of the class and sniggered all through each lesson, seeing themselves as too smart to have to listen or learn anything. He never outgrew that stage.

Not that I have any strong thoughts or feelings about him or the nonsense he extrudes.

And then he had to go making some sense in his Time magazine essay God as Their Running Mate.

In it, Kinsley makes pretty short and effective work of religious candidates' attempts to distance themselves from their own religions. He says (and darn it, he's right) that you can't do that. If religion = the fundamental way you view the world (and it is), then you can't say your worldview doesn't influence your politics.

Because he can't help himself, Kinsley does make some idiotic, self-revealing statements along the way ("For me, any candidate who believes in the literal truth of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon or the novels of Jane Austen is probably too credulous to be President"). But he also makes enough sense that he probably had to catch his breath after writing such statements as this:
If religion is central to their lives and moral systems, then it cannot be the candidates' "own private affair." To evaluate them, we need to know in some detail the doctrines of their faith and the extent to which they accept these doctrines. "Worry about whether I'm going to reform health care, not whether I'm going to hell" is not sufficient.
And this:
In the online magazine Slate a while back, editor Jacob Weisberg called Joseph Smith, Mormonism's founder, an "obvious con man" and wrote, "Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don't want him running the country." Thus [another] argument that religion can't be a private affair for a presidential candidate: what a person deeply believes says something about his or her character, which voters may wish to take into account. Deeply religious people may find a candidate's ability to make that "leap of faith" admirable or even essential. Or they may find it offensive if it conflicts with their own faith. (Some devout Christians object to Mormonism's belief that the Bible is a mistranslation.) A skeptic may not want someone so credulous in the nation's top job.
So even Michael Kinsley has had his "broken clock" moment. A bit more contentful than Hugh Hewitt on the same subject.


LeeC said...

Interesting you should post this right now.
I just watched Fred Thompson and his wife Jeri with Sean hannity.

He doesn't exactly fit the mold in that he doesn't seem to be trying to cash in on his "faith" I don't think he's a Christian, but I have to respect his comments about Dr. Dobsons stance on him.

Hey, I remember when people were telling me that they don't neccesarily agree with much of what Jimmy Carter held to, but they were voting for him against Ford because "He was a good Christian man who wasn't afraid of his faith".


Magister Stevenson said...

Good post. I am sad that religious candidates want to run from their religious convictions as if those beliefs are only privately true, not absolutely true. As a Christian, I desire people to know my beliefs and evaluate my life accordingly. How else can they persecute me, yet give God glory? It can make for uncomfortable conversations in the flesh (like at lunch, when my colleagues ask if I think they are going to Hell), but that is how it goes. Hiding my belief in God is not compassionate. It's mean.

LeeC said...

As for those who do claim Christ as theirs there is Mark 8:34-38

34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

35"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.

36"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

37"For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

38"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

Do you LOVE God?

Would your wife or girlfriend believe your profession of love if when at parties you stood on the other side of the room and when asked said things like "Her? uh yeah, well we're not really together we just carpool to help the environment."

Neither would Christ.

JackW said...

You did know that before Crossfire, Michael Kinsley moderated Firing Line with William F. Buckley? You don't hang around that kind of brain power without some of it rubbing off, though in his case not nearly enough.

Carl said...

Frankly, I don't pay attention to anything Kinsley says or writes anymore. He's shown himself to be so far off the mark so often that I can't understand why anyone gives him any credibility nowadays. But that seems to be the norm for extremist liberals so it's really not surprising.

DJP said...

True, Carl; which explains my shock at his making more sense than Hugh Hewitt on this issue.

FX Turk said...

The funny thing about Kinsley is that he got his start as the moderator for William Buckley's "Firing Line" on PBS oh so long ago, and I think that's where Kinsely got so full of himself. Buckley is a towering intellect, and Kinsley was his pet liberal for a decade or so -- Kinsley, I am sure, counts that as having paid his dues.