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Cal Thomas

A number of left-of-center bloggers are wondering where the outrage is over a recent Cal Thomas column, in which Thomas writes:

On the eve of our great national birthday party and in the aftermath of Sept. 11, when millions of us turned to God and prayed for forgiveness of individual and corporate sins and asked for His protection against future attacks, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has inflicted on this nation what many will conclude is a greater injury than that caused by the terrorists.
Closer to home, a couple of bloggers I like and read regularly are wondering why so few denunciations from the right.

I guess to an extent I have to agree with Owen Courrèges, another local whose blog I've just discovered. I think that Thomas's comment is an exaggeration, and is ill-considered rhetoric, but I don't think it quite rises to the heights of silliness attained by, say, Messrs Falwell and Robertson.

Now, I'm not a cultural conservative, and I'm not at all religious, but I'll play devil's advocate here. Let's consider that some people may actually consider that the ongoing transformation of establishment-clause doctrine is only one manifestation of a greater trend of state hostility towards religion. I'm not sure how to define "many" (or that it really matters), but I know thoughtful people who would make that case. If you believe that morality is impossible without the anchor of religion, it surely becomes problematic that the state, which acts as a fairly effective instrument of political socialization, is essentially making that case. Longer term, is it reasonable to assert (even if wrong) that such a socio-political intellectual trend might, indeed, have greater reach and impact than the World Trade Center bombing? Would that assertion, given the previous assumptions and considering them fairly, be truly absurd on its face? And to go just a little beyond, is it truly absurd to think that some people (if not Mr. Thomas's many) might actually think something along those lines?

I don't think Cal Thomas made that case with this sad little column, though, and I generally don't find him very interesting at all (just went poking through Reductio to see how often he shows up, and the answer is -- not very). I don't really consider him to be one of the columnists that I just can't miss while doing my daily reading. And isn't that a more damning critique than any denunciation TAPped might want from conservative bloggers: I just don't read the guy because, frankly, columns like this aren't all that surprising!

But hey, it could be worse -- at least he didn't use a ghostwriter!

Oh -- and I know Thomas has nothing to do with the headlines, but far more annoying than the column itself is this headline: "One nation, under who?" Shouldn't that be, "One nation, under whom?" Or, if you want to pay proper respect to the deity, "One nation, under Whom?" Hmm...

[Posted at 14:32 CST on 07/04/02] [Link]

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