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April 14, 2008

Bill Kristol Goes There -- Yeah, There

I had wondered when this obvious point, much discussed in the blogosphere, would break into the more respectable press.

And in the Paper of Record Retard, no less.

My occasion for spending a little time once again with the old Communist was Barack Obama’s now-famous comment at an April 6 San Francisco fund-raiser. Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

This sent me to Marx’s famous statement about religion in the introduction to his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”:

“Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

Or, more succinctly, and in the original German in which Marx somehow always sounds better: “Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes.”

Now, this is a point of view with a long intellectual pedigree prior to Marx, and many vocal adherents continuing into the 21st century. I don’t believe the claim is true, but it’s certainly worth considering, in college classrooms and beyond.

But it’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.

And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”

I don't think it's particularly odd at all, Mr. Kristol. I agree with NRO's Lisa Schiffrin:

I now feel fully vindicated in my suspicion that Obama's attendance at Wright's church was entirely political and expedient. No one who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ — or even moderate respect for other people's religious views — thinks in these terms about why working class people might believe in God,

Incidentally, Excitable Andy gave Lisa Schriffin a "Malkin Award" for that statement, and no, that's not a good award. The "Malkin Award" is, if I recall this douchebag's award system properly, for particularly egregious statements belying a hyperpartisan viciousness.

If so, Excitable Andy ought to give himself a few. Perhaps I'm wrong, but isn't the Conservative Soul (now a featured book in remainder bins) much concerned with the claim that Republican elites cynically and disingenuously exploit religious beliefs for political gain?

I'm sorry, is Sullivan claiming that one can write an entire book questioning Republican politicians' true beliefs in God and values but Lisa Schiffrin can't write a fucking 400 word blog-post about Obama's cynicism and exploitation in this regard?

Then again, intellectual consistency is hardly a hallmark of Sullivan's hysterical form of discourse.


Oh! Missed Sullivan's response to Kristol:

A non-Christian manipulator of Christianity is calling a Christian a liar about his own faith. That's where they've gone to already.

Heh. Sullivan just called Kristol a Jew manipulating gullible Christians for his own personal agenda (which happens to be much-concerned with Israel, of course).

I feel so liberated now that we're having this "open, candid" discussion on race and religion that Obama Christ began for us.

Why, just a few days ago I didn't know it was acceptable to respond to a political opponent by simply calling him a dirty, scheming kike.

The fun we're going to have! And, as Sullivan points out, It's only April!

I wonder why he didn't note that Lisa Schrieffrin was also a "non-Christian..." I guess maybe because he wasn't sure she was a Yid. It's one of those names that could go either way, you know.

You know-- one of those sneaky stealth Jew-names that almost sound like good Christian names.


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