I like Andrew Sullivan. I really do. He’s a conservative, but much more in the Tory tradition than the current crop of lunatic tea-baggers out there who call themselves conservatives. I don’t agree with him on everything, but he is a good writer and entertaining.
Sadly, like all of us, he has his blind spots. His particular blind spots seem to mostly center around his religion (Catholic). He’s caught a bit of flack for it lately and seemed to feel the need to provide defense for religion.
One form of this defense is an article he posted up today talking about his experience running into a shoe shiner at the airport in Waco. The shiner was an older black man, in his sixties, roughly, who’d lived in Waco all his life and experienced the segregation and inequalities.
From the article:
I asked him how he survived. “Prayer,” he instantly replied. “I just prayed. We all prayed. We’re Christians and we prayed. Couldn’t have got through it without prayer. And prayer for them too.”
He meant, prayer for those who tormented him.
Sullivan accepts that as a good and touching statement and I suppose that it is, if you ignore the fact that the only reason this man had to deal with racism and torment like this was because of slavery. Slavery that was endorsed by the Bible and backed up by Sullivan’s Catholic Church.
To be fair to Sully he doesn’t buy into everything the Church says, and at times seems close to making a leap or two away from the Church, but he still doesn’t understand that for all the good religion brings into the world, it still brings in more suffering and pain. Yes, Martin Luther King, Jr, was a good man and the civil rights movement used religion to help free the people, but it was freeing them from a legacy of slavery backed up by religion. Yes, the Catholic Church helps the poor and hungry in Africa, but it keeps them poor and hungry by telling them not to use condoms or other forms of birth control.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture.