Sunday, September 18, 2022

Foolish and Odious

This isn't a perfect post. However, it's the perfect day (Sunday) for it.


"Not fast enough" is disturbingly wrong, strategically and otherwise. By contrast, aside from one minor omission, Sam Seder gets it exactly right as he explains

Do us all a favor. Don't say "Christians" when you mean Christian fundamentalists or Christian extremists or religious extremists or religious fundamentalists. Because really, the problem is religious fundamentalists of all stripes.

I can assure you that there's a lot of fundamentalist Jews who are on board with all that stuff and as a political matter, you don't want to alienate everybody who identifies as a Christian or whose parents were Christian or who was raised Christian because that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You don't want them to think they mean you.

You say "fundamentalist Christians, extremist Christians or I just say "religious fundamentalists" because at the end of the day- because that's the problem.... I'm saying all those things are true. But that's just what's the most effective word.

"Christian" does mean something different to one person than to another. And there are fundamentalist Jews who are on board with the right wing politics and/or with Donald Trump. Most of them are of the Orthodox variety, though many Orthodox Jews are repelled by Trump and the right and a small percentage of non-Orthodox Jews are supporters.

Religious fundamentalists include not only Protestant and Jewish extremists but also Catholics of the Opus Dei variety and Islamism. Although it is unclear whether Seder was including Catholic extremists among Christian extremism, he may have omitted any references to Muslims or Islam if light of the opprobrium directed at Bill Maher whenever he refers in any manner to Islamic extremists.

If Seder had noted that, like some Christians and Jews, some Muslims are fundamentalist or dangerously right-wing, he would have been shunned, stripped of his liberal or progressive card, and confronted with a campaign calling for his cancellation. That acknowledgement is too much to ask of anyone, but a reminder from the left that not all Christians are radicals, hate-filled racist fascists, or wackadoodles is not only bold but will be extremely helpful if understood.

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