Chris at The Other Journal has recently posted part 1 of a three-part interview with Eugene McCarraher that is definitely worth the read. So far there’s been some fascinating commentary on things ranging from evaluating the aughts to the presidency of Barack Obama and the Tiger Woods scandal.
Here’s just one quote, on conservative Christianity in the 2000s:
The 2000s was, sadly, the heyday of faith-based everything: faith-based wars (Iraq), faith-based science (“intelligent design” and global-warming denial), faith-based economics (the financial and housing bubbles, the extraordinary trust placed in a gnomic mediocrity like Alan Greenspan). And let’s be honest here: conservative Christianity, Protestant and Catholic, remains one of the leading service providers of credulity. You just can’t escape the fact that conservative religious culture leavened almost every instance of faith-based bunkum that characterized the last decade. Anyone who studies the events leading up to the invasion of Iraq knows that one of the reasons George W. Bush went to war was his belief—encouraged by neoconservatives who don’t give a damn about Christian or any other faith—that God wanted him to be some righteous warrior. Churches and synagogues around the nation sounded their tocsins for war, but the invasion received the most enthusiastic benedictions from conservative churches, all resounding with hosannahs and praise for God’s President. Even churches like the one I attend, which isn’t especially conservative, started draping the Stars and Stripes from their choir balconies. When I objected strongly to this, I was told that parishioners were demanding it. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson drooled with anticipation at the prospect of vengeance and assassination; John Hagee, Rod Parsley, and others reveled in blood-soaked eschatological visions; the Left Behind books sold millions of copies, filling the minds of readers with hateful, sanguinary orgasms of violence; theo-con journals like First Things, the religion supplement for the Wall Street Journal, ran articles about America’s providential mission in the world. Add to that the cavalier hostility to science that now makes a cretin like James Inhofe into a major player on climate policy. Very large swaths of American Christianity now compose a potent culture of resentment, bigotry, and militarism. Where, oh where, is H. L. Mencken when you need him? You can’t even begin to understand someone like Bush—or Sarah Palin, the true heir to this maelstrom of nuttery—without attending to this stew.