Byassee on Kristof

From the Call & Response Blog at Duke:

I heard an old-time evangelist preach to a full house here at Duke the other night. The crowd was buying what he was selling. They laughed at the jokes, nodded at the profound points and lined up for the altar call.

The evangelist was Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times. I mean him no disrespect by comparing him to an evangelist. He spoke with the boldness and conviction of Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and the apostle Paul all rolled into one. And the message he spoke was as true as anything those other men preached. The altar call was a line that stretched outside the building for his signature on the book. The sellers didn’t bring enough copies. As jaded as the Facebook generation is, they wanted to sign up for this.

via Duke Divinity Call & Response Blog | Faith & Leadership | Jason Byassee: The moral challenge of our century.

Weekend Politics

Two of my favorite members of the punditocracy went at it on Friday night on Real Time.  I most appreciate both Bill Maher and Andrew Sullivan for their honesty.  I agree with each of them on some things and disagree on others.  I tend to agree with Maher on the present state of America and the current administration and I love his acerbic wit (plus the linguistic freedom that he is afforded on HBO), but I find his views on religion to be odious and reactionary.  I appreciate Sullivan’s wholehearted commitment to democracy and capitalism, but I think he’s living in lala land to believe that either could achieve the idealistic state that he envisions (in fact, Naomi Klein really busted Sullivan’s chops on this very point on the show).

I think Sullivan is one of the best guests that Maher has on, primarily because Andrew is not the least bit intimidated by Bill’s intellect and tongue.  This clip is a classic repartee between the two of them on the subject of religion:


In other news, journalists are finally started to talk publicly about the power of the racist vote in America, and about the McCain campaign’s unwillingness to speak boldly against it.  Mark Ambinder has written about it here and here in the last couple days, and Nicholas Kristof today argues that the lingering lies about BO being an underground Muslim is really a foil for racism.

I do think there’s something to this, unfortunately.  In fact, the only way I see BO losing the election is if a certain segments of whites don’t vote for him because of latent racism.  How sad is that?