Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah Palin 'Unnerves' NewsWeek Elitist Sam Harris; An Atheist Responds

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Sam Harris Doesn't Speak for Me
The Crack Emcee
The Macho Response

Response from an Atheist

[NOTE: An interesting rebuke of Newsweek's Sam Harris and his opinion piece, "When Atheists Attack".

Harris wrote that he was 'unnerved' when he heard Palin speak at the Republican Convention. Harris reveals much more about himself than Sarah Palin. Newsweek subheaded the Harris piece, "A noted provocateur rips Sarah Palin—and defends elitism." Of course, readers of Newsweek know that a writer need be neither a "provocateur" nor "noted" to attack Sarah Palin.

But then, readers of Newsweek, largely a cult following these days, might be unnerved by the "news" magazine's declining subscription base.

I got a call today from one of my best friends, asking me if I'd read Newsweek magazine recently; specifically Sam Harris's article on Sarah Palin called, "When Atheists Attack". I told him no; that though I am an atheist, I'm not a fan of Sam Harris, and don't trust the stance he's taken in the dialogue on atheism - because he's another angry Buddhist - which I regard as a spiritual con, beyond weird, a sign of elitist liberalism, and - as practiced in the West - part of the NewAge (rhymes with sewage) movement that I despise.

My friend, who sits on the fence in regards to a lot of political and theological arguments, read me a few of Harris's paragraphs about Palin that he found troubling. But, while doing so, my friend also gave me further reason to dislike the elitist Harris even more.

Let me explain:

See, I'm not like other atheists in a number of ways: though born an atheist, I've always considered the battle, and taken-offense, over "In God We Trust" on money (or the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge Of Allegiance) to be silly. For me, God is not "dead" but merely outgrown his usefulness. I understand why, mostly as a response to communism, presidents say "God bless America", and why these gestures were made historically, so they don't bother me a bit. They're nothing to rail against. They're anachronisms, kitschy, and (though I'm loathe to admit it) touching, threatening my atheism not one iota. I guess I'm saying I find many atheists, and the planks they stand on, petty, laughable, and weak, and that's also how I feel about Harris's critique of Palin as well.

Harris starts off with the confession that he "was genuinely unnerved by Sarah Palin's performance at the Republican convention" because it was "the most effective political communication" he'd ever seen. Considering how much we in the general public knew about Palin at that juncture, what was Harris afraid of? Why wasn't this man, who I suspect is a feminist, overjoyed to see this "sexy" woman (Harris's word) break the glass ceiling of presidential politics? He claims it was because "if anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could", but I suspect - as the early, and hypocritical, attacks on Palin indicated - it was mostly because this married mother of five clearly wasn't a card-carrying member of the so-called "progressive" movement. Some elitists, who appear outwardly reasonable, have even gone so far as to declare she isn't even a woman.

Ladies and gentlemen (especially the gentlemen) I ask you: is Sarah Palin not a woman?

Whatever the case for his anxiety, Harris wasn't giving this new face on our national stage a fair break, as he indicates while discussing her Charles Gibson interview.

Harris says he was "relieved to discover, as many were, that Palin's luster can be much diminished by the absence of a teleprompter" - without uttering a word on how elitist Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's celebrated stumbling without a teleprompter affected his mood. Harris adds that he "didn't much care that she did not know the meaning of the phrase 'Bush doctrine'", but as Charles Krathammer (the man who coined the term) has pointed out, that great "gotcha" moment apparently hasn't yet registered with "progressives" like Harris - or even the New York Times - as Charles Gibson's gaffe - not Palin's - three weeks later.

Continue reading: Sam Harris Doesn't Speak for Me

by The Crack Emcee
image: The Macho Response
Source: Sam Harris Doesn't Speak for Me

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