Richard Cohen on Seeking Pastoral Council
The columnist writes in a Washington Post Op-Ed:
For too long now, the term “faith-based” has been synonymous with dumb. It’s dumb to speak of Islam as if the terrorists are its true representatives (F. Graham). It’s dumb to think the Holocaust was God’s way of getting the Jews to return to Israel (Hagee) or that Catholics are not true Christians (Hagee, again) or that “Islam is an anti-Christ religion that intends through violence to conquer the world” (Parsley).
It’s dumb to reject evolution when all of science thinks the opposite, and it’s dumb to oppose sex education, as if knowledge was by itself a sin. It was beyond dumb for the Rev. Pat Robertson to predict a natural calamity for Orlando because of Disney World’s policy regarding gay men and lesbians. Yet, the endorsement of such clergymen has been sought by virtually every Republican presidential candidate of our times. To pass this kind of muster is very disquieting.
The liberal clergy in this country is a faded force. Gone are the days when ministers did such things as leading the civil rights movement and marching to end the Vietnam War. Now, the ones with political clout are too often small-minded men who swaddle their bigotry and ignorance in the soothing word “faith.”
Richard Cohen is playing, once again, the big city sophisticate as he rails against the rubes – that would be you and me – who come to the attention of the politicians once every four years. And those politicians – that wouldn’t be both Senators McCain and Obama this time around, would it? Naw – that would be talking to the people, instead of to the big city elite who toil for the Washington Post and have no voice, you know, like Woodward and Bernstein… and Cohen.
That would be dumb.