Everytime some half-wit progressive brings up Jerry Falwell, the Bakers and Pat Roberston, don’t you always hear "Hungry Like the Wolf" playing in the background? Can’t critics at least learn some new names from this century if they’re going to criticize the Religious Right? (Although I guess we can take some small comfort from the implication that progressives are just too stupid and/or lazy to bother…)
But anyway, I don’t have a NYT column, and David Brooks does. Here’s part of his review of Andrew Sullivan’s book:
"The Conservative Soul is imbued with Sullivan’s characteristic passion and clarity. And yet I must confess, if I hadn’t been reviewing this book, I wouldn’t have finished it. I have a rule, which has never failed me, that when a writer uses quotations from Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and the Left Behind series to capture the religious and political currents in modern America, then I know I can put that piece of writing down because the author either doesn’t know what he is talking about or is arguing in bad faith."
Which. Is. What. I’ve. Been. Frickin’. Saying.
Kathy Shaidle goes on to call this Brooks law and even better Reductio ad Falwellum. This is so true since the only time you ever hear these names are if some liberal is bringing them up or the rare case when a conservative does – and in those cases it is mainly to lampoon the latest idiotic statement. Pat Robertson and the Bakers, etc. are like the crazy uncle in the family as far as most Christians are concerned. But maybe the reason they are stuck in the eighties as far as the religious right goes is that there really are no dominant members of the Christian right that are as easy to caricature. Sure they totally disagree with people like Dr. James Dobson, but he doesn’t have some cheesy television show talking about the end times and curing people over the airwaves. They want religious right Bogeymen to scare their constituents to the polls to save us from the impending theocracy. The eighties had the death defying Jason and progressive’s keep resurrecting old religious right figures one more time hoping for once to give a good scare. That behind Jason’s hockey mask lies Pat Robertson or Jerry Fallwell.