Thursday, May 05, 2005

In Which I praise Town Hall for the Second Time in a Week

In last Thursday's post I linked to a very sensible column about global warming that appeared at the normally cartoonishly right-wing website Town Hall.

Well, they've done it again! For the second time in a week they have published something intelligent. This time it's from George Will (!!) Some excerpts:

The state of America's political discourse is such that the president has felt it necessary to declare that unbelievers can be good Americans. In last week's prime-time news conference, he said: “If you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship.”

So Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes and a long, luminous list of other skeptics can be spared the posthumous ignominy of being stricken from the rolls of exemplary Americans. And almost 30 million living Americans welcomed that presidential benediction.

According to the American Religious Identification Survey, Americans who answer “none” when asked to identify their religion numbered 29.4 million in 2001, more than double the 14.3 million in 1990. If unbelievers had their own state -- the state of None -- its population would be more than twice that of New England's six states, and None would be the nation's second-largest state:

California, 34.5 million.

None, 29.4 million.

Texas, 21.3 million.

Of course, it goes without saying that Bush would not have made his remark about non-worshippers if his advisors did not think it politically prudent to do so. I love the fact that the Bush administration now believes that at least some grudging acknowledgement of atheists is warranted.

Later, Will writes:

Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various “assaults” on “people of faith.” Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

Wow! If only Will were always so sensible.


At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that really a comment toward atheists? He said "non-worshippers", which might be interpreted as people who believe but don't go to church.


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