Andrew Sullivan is trying to defend his recent accusations against “Christianists” (his term, which sounds an awful lot like “Islamists”), but a recent post on Time Magazine’s site illustrates his inability to hide his disdain for conservative Christians behind repeated professions of “neutrality.”
I have two key points to raise before I attack Andrew Sullivan’s neutrality, and he’d be wise to answer them if he wants to be taken seriously by anyone other than the radical left and those who oppose all religious expression.
First, let me point out that Sullivan hasn’t identified who these “Christianists” are, other than one man* whose nationwide influence Sullivan fails to demonstrate. What is a “Christianist”, exactly? Does it depend on the fervency of one’s Christian faith? Or is it a belief that faith-based morals should inform one’s policy preferences? Sullivan doesn’t say … and the mind is left to imagine a vast seething horde of secretive “Christianists” lurking in the shadows. Please, Andrew, more details.
Second, which current civil laws are enforcements of “Christianist” religious beliefs? Sullivan doesn’t say. We can guess, but there’s not much point in doing his work for him; let him make a full accusation so we can identify who the accused really are. Veiled insinuations won’t cut it. The universal legal prohibition of murder finds its root in religious beliefs. So do the prohibitions of theft, rape, pedophilia and fraud. Would these laws fall under the “Christianist” umbrella and therefore be invalid?
If it’s unacceptable to base laws on morals conveyed by any divine law-giver, then I wonder what basis Sullivan uses for his non-sectarian “moral” arguments? Why should I take him seriously if there’s no divine sanction to back it up? All I have to do is find enough people to agree with me, and we can enforce our own non-sectarian argument over Andrew’s. What recourse would he have then? None … if he’s intellectually honest.
* Correction: Besides David Barton, Sullivan also labels Ramesh Ponnuru, Hugh Hewitt, Robert P. George, Senator Rick Santorum, and Eric Cohen (who’s Jewish) as “Christianists.” However, my point remains. What, exactly, marks a person as a “Christianist”, other than opposition to Andrew Sullivan’s agenda?
UPDATE: Mel Gibson’s a Christianist too, now.