Weekend Update: In Which I Wonder if Rachel Maddow is, After All, a Force for the Good


The brouhaha about Rick Warren almost crushed me this evening. I thought I’d been stupid, and gone for the easy decision. Put up with the man — I’d argued — it’s only for one day. The thought that this might have been weak appeasement undid me. Then Kathleen got hold of my brain. If not Rick Warren, then who? Is there a better Christian out there, with anything like Rick Warren’s reach?

Comparing the current fight for gay rights to the still unfinished business of rights for African-Americans is doomed to founder on the rocks of bogusness. Excuse me, “category mistake.” African-Americans were deemed racially inferior according to nationalist, “racist” ideas about biological origins — starting about four hundred years ago. Those ideas ideas are simply ridiculous. Homosexuals are deemed wicked according to profoundly rooted ideas about God and virtue — starting who knows when but fully articulated well over a thousand years ago. See Augustine if you’re confused.

Although I’m tempted to argue that Jesus himself would have shrugged off encounters with homosexual behavior, I’m fairly sure that there’s no support for that view. And almost everyone else involved with the religion was emphatically homophobic. In those days, there were no blacks to look down upon (or so few it didn’t matter), but all the thinkers hated gays.

And have been hating them ever since. Racism is a comparative novelty, ipso facto easier to undermine. African-Americans are certainly not going to come to the older problem’s rescue — even if AIDS kills all the nice guys.