Friday, April 25, 2008

The New Republic Gets Hot

Dov Bear pointed me here, where I read what Leon Wieseltier wrote:-

Andrew Sullivan rushed to the defense of his idol, I mean Obama. When one types all the time, sooner or later everything will be typed, and so Sullivan, in his fury against Kristol, typed this: "A non-Christian manipulator of Christianity is calling a Christian a liar about his faith." Ponder that early adjective. It is Jew baiting. I was not aware that only Christians can judge Christians, or that there are things about which a Jew cannot call a Christian a liar. If Kristol is wrong about Obama, it is not because Kristol is a Jew. So this fills me with a certain paschal wrath.

Sullivan responded:

My phrase "a non-Christian manipulator of Christianity" is an attack on Kristol's cynicism, not his Jewishness. I agree wholeheartedly with Wieseltier that, "if Kristol is wrong about Obama, it is not because Kristol is a Jew." It is because he is a cynic about faith, and a ruthless partisan indifferent to the truth when it cannot be harnessed to the wielding of power. My post was a protest against the manipulation of faith for partisan purposes. It would apply to anyone outside a faith who has decided to use and manipulate another's faith for his own political purposes. "Non-Christian" would include atheist or Muslim or agnostic or, of course, Jewish. It would apply to a Catholic calling a professing Muslim a fraud or a practising Protestant a liar.

And Wieseltier capitually rebutted:

I still do not see why a Catholic cannot call a Muslim a fraud or a Jew call a Protestant a liar or an agnostic call a believer a cynic, or why one's identity should have any bearing upon the truth or falsity of anything one says, or why the Christianization of Republican politics should not be attributed directly to Christians, but about one thing I wish to be piercingly clear: I do not believe that Andrew Sullivan is an anti-Semite...Of course he is not an anti-Semite. I should have said so before I pounced.

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