Friday, February 06, 2004

Easterbrook's Christianity 

The Gregg Easterbrook screed against the National Prayer Breakfast is just asinine. Easterbrook complains about the

...hundreds of dignitaries and big-shots get together to proclaim their deep prayerful concern for the downtrodden while being served by impoverished Salvadorans and Mexicans and, after leaving the National Prayer Breakfast, won't lift to finger to increase the minimum wage or extend health care benefits to the downtrodden they'd just been inches away from.
And here I thought liberals didn't want religion to dictate one's political positions. Easterbrook recycles the old liberal line that conservatives don't care about the poor because, otherwise, why would they oppose raising the minimum wage or free health care to the poor? Did he consider that maybe they oppose raising the minimum wage because it might cause increased unemployment, or that it hurts the buying power of those who makes just above minimum wage? And maybe extending health care benefits to the poor might cause the overall quality of health care to deteriorate? No, Easterbrook says, if you oppose those government programs it's because you don't want to help poor people. More offensive, Easterbrook implies that those who disagree with him aren't good Christians.

Easterbrook also writes that he was against the National Prayer Breakfast because Jesus forbade public prayer:

Christ repeatedly said that people should pray in private, and followed his own advice, leaving his disciples when he wished to address God. ("Then he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed.")
This comes four paragraphs after he tells us he believes in natural selection, which I'm pretty sure contradicts a few things in the Bible. And while I'm not Christian, I'm pretty sure Jesus wouldn't approve of his obsession with NFL cheerleaders and other scantily clad women either. I'm not saying that one can't be a good Christian if one doesn't follow everything in the Bible, but this seems to be what Easterbrook is saying. If he doesn't like seeing people pray in public, he should just say so, and not hide behind the Bible. Of course, his words would carry more weight if he weren't a hypocrite who isn't exactly following everything in the Bible either.
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