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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

McAdams joins the illiteracy crowd

Robola, in his Airing of the Grievances over Festivus, cited Marquette U. professor John McAdams for "intellectually shallow" writing. I tend not to read the professor, as I don't really like to read intellectually shallow commentary, from the right or left. McAdams doesn't usually read my blog, either, and I like it that way.

Problem is, when you write intellectually shallow posts, as McAdams often does, you have to get your material from somewhere. McAdams got some from Owen at Boots and Sabers, quoting, in toto, Owen's deliberate misreading (where Owen's lies have multiplied in the comments) of an essay by Bryan Kennedy posted here over the weekend. To make plain the intellectual shallowness--because, apparently, lifting someone else's post in its entirety to make his point is just not enough--McAdams calls Bryan's essay a "tantrum" and adds,
There is an excellent Yiddish word to describe what liberals are showing when they talk about religious tolerance. The word is chutzpah.
As I wrote yesterday--which McAdams doesn't know because he doesn't read my blog--to call Bryan Kennedy's essay here intolerant is to deliberately misread what he wrote. I mean, out of 14 paragraphs, Bryan takes one part of one paragraph to explain that the Jesus of the Party of Dobson is not the Jesus of Bryan Kennedy, the Party of Lincoln, or anyone who has bothered to read the Gospels. Bryan explains, pretty well, too, that the demands of current far-right Republican religious leaders to impose their view of morality, ethics, and Christ on the rest of us run counter to both the teachings of the Bible and the US Constitution. He doesn't say that people cannot hold those beliefs; he explains why he thinks those beliefs are wrong.

There is no "intolerance" in Kennedy's essay for conservatism, for religion in general, or for Christianity in particular. It takes chutzpah to claim that something that doesn't exist is really there, and a certain level of intellectual shallowness to be willing to roll over and lie like that. It takes chutzpah to call Bryan's eloquent retelling of his religious and family history a "tantrum."

What also really takes chutzpah is what Bryan Kennedy did. He came here, to this very liberal blog, and told my readership that not only is he a religious person, but a Mormon at that, and that his faith drives the very principles behind his run for Congress and the platform thereof. It takes chutzpah for Bryan to admit, on my very liberal website, that he is a moderate, and try to convince my generally liberal readership that he deserves their support. (Owen and McAdams both reflexively call him liberal--there's that intellectual shallowness again!--when, speaking as a liberal, I would not.)

Professor McAdams is one of many bloggers on the right who are afraid to let their readers comment, so I cannot drop by and explain this to him. And, since I know he doesn't read my blog, McAdams will probably never know how wrong and intellectually shallow he can be. And I like it that way.

Update: Julie agrees.

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