You title your book "Godless." Are all liberals atheists?
No, but it increases the odds.
What portion of liberals would you say are religious in the more conventional sense of the word: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, even Wiccans?
Hmmm, so you consider Wiccans “religious... in the conventional sense”? That would definitely get liberals' numbers up! I'd have no way of knowing, but make no mistake: Liberals are everywhere, in every religion, denomination and spiritual practice--especially Wiccans!
We've done some polls here at Beliefnet, and a surprising number of Democrats at least say they are religious. Some 61 percent say they pray daily and 72 percent attend worship services once a month or more. How would you explain that?
Just curious: What percentage of them know which Testament the Book of Job is in?
When you say that most liberals don't believe in God, what is your evidence? According to a Fox News poll last year, 92 percent of Americans believe in God. And nearly half of Americans voted Democratic in the 2004 election. So doesn't that suggest that most liberals do believe in God?
First let me say that I think it's terrific to hear a journalist citing a Fox News poll as authoritative evidence and would like to encourage this development. I don't say “most liberals don't believe in God”; I say liberalism is a godless religion. Some liberals don't understand the underlying religious dogma and principles of liberalism--if they did, they would flee the building.
No, I think it proves it--58.7% of all Democrats? That's pathetic. Also, you forgot to ask them the follow-up question: Is that because you hope to come back as a snail darter?
Will most liberals go to hell or heaven?
I really can't improve on Jesus' words: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."
You cite opposition to the death penalty as a key tenet of the Church of Liberalism. Yet Pope John Paul II stated that the death penalty should be rarely, if ever, applied: only "in cases of absolute necessity." How do you square this with your assertion that "adoration of violent criminals" is the main factor behind opposition to the death penalty?
I agree with the pope. I also believe that it is an "absolute necessity" to execute cold-blooded murderers, rapists, and child molesters. As your own question indicates, opposition to the death penalty is not a "key tenet" of even Catholicism. That would be a difficult position to maintain inasmuch as God himself commanded the Israelites to go to certain cities and kill every living thing. If memory serves, the pope was also opposed to abortion. Liberals are not. How would you explain opposition to the death penalty for heinous murderers, but not for innocent children?
Do you think it is persuasive to trudge out long-dead horses such as Willie Horton (1988) or Piltdown Man (1912) and flog them one more time? Does anyone, even on the left, seriously regard Willie Horton as a "martyr," as you call him? Tookie Williams, maybe, but Willie Horton? Does he really rate a chapter of his own?
The word you're searching for is "dredge," not "trudge." No: I included a pointless chapter just to take up space. Yes, of course it's important. The Willie Horton chapter illustrates how a religion untethered to the Creator exhibits all the bad aspects of religion--myth-making, self-righteousness, and preachiness--in defense of remorseless killers, while casually sentencing the unborn to death.
You say that the Episcopal Church is "barely even a church." Why?
Because it's become increasingly difficult to distinguish the pronouncements of the Episcopal Church from the latest Madonna video.
Are churches that don't agree with your politics or religious beliefs not really churches?
Correct: They're called “mosques.”
Actually, the answer to that question is contained in what those in the publishing industry refer to as the "title” of my book, which is: "Godless: The CHURCH
In a footnote, you say: "Throughout this book I often refer to Christian and Christianity...but the term is intended to include anyone who subscribes to the Bible of the God of Abraham, including Jews and others." Isn't it odd to define "Christians" as including people who are Jewish?
Yes, that would be very odd, but I'm doing nothing of the sort. I'm not defining Christians as Jews or Jews as Christians or zebras as elephants. I'm informing the reader that when I use the term "Christian," I am using it to include anyone who believes in the God of Abraham because it got a little wordy to keep saying "Christians, Jews and anyone else who believes in the God of Abraham" throughout the book. I don't know how that could be any clearer. If everyone who believed in the God of Abraham were a Christian, I wouldn't have needed the footnote.
And don't many people whom you would classify as belonging to the Church of Liberalism define themselves as Christian or Jewish? Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Michael Lerner of Tikkun claim to be applying authentic Christian and Jewish theology to political and social questions. Are such people not really Christians or Jews?
Yes, the percentage of liberals who define themselves as practicing Christians or Jews goes up in direct proportion to their proximity to elective office.
I cannot speak to individual cases--only God knows who is truly following Him--but claiming to be Jewish or Christian doesn't immunize one from bad ideologies. Some slaveholders claimed to be Christians, too. Howard Dean, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry all belong to a church that believes it's okay to stick a fork in a baby's head. To the extent one is practicing liberalism, one is not practicing the religion of our Father.
Is it possible to be a good Christian and sincerely believe, as Jim Wallis does, that a bigger welfare state and higher taxes to fund it is the best way in a complex modern society for us to fulfill our Gospel obligation to help the poor?
It's possible, but not likely. Confiscatory taxation enforced by threat of imprisonment is "stealing," a practice strongly frowned upon by our Creator. If all Christians and Jews tithed their income as the Bible commands, every poor person would be cared for, every naked person clothed and every hungry person fed. Read Marvin Olasky's "The Tragedy Of American Compassion" for further discussion of this.
These are unanswerable questions--except the latter. God did not "cause" evolution because evolution doesn't exist. Thus, for example, He also didn't "cause" unicorns. My faith and reason tell me that God created the world and I'm not particularly interested in the details. I'll find out when I meet my Maker.
Can there be such a thing as "intelligent design" without a divine designer?
Yes--you should read my book! As I describe in my book, Cambridge astrophysicists Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, as well as Francis Crick, winner of the Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of DNA, didn't believe in God, but realized Darwin's theory was a crock. In order to explain the vast evidence of intelligence throughout the physical world while excluding God, they concocted theories about intelligence being transported from outer space to earth on comets or spaceships. Of course, some might say that begs the question: Who's the intelligent designer in outer space? Karl Lagerfeld?
Many arguments in favor of Darwinian evolution strike me as actually being arguments against the existence of God--that is, why would a creator create tapeworms, disease viruses, and other bad things? Why do you think such things exist in a world of intelligent design?
Your question is incomprehensible. I assume you are trying to ask me: "Why would God create tapeworms?"
My answer is: God also created mosquitoes, which I hate. But purple martins love mosquitoes and would probably all starve without them. It's kind of a “big picture” thing. Of course that doesn't explain why He created Michael Moore. For that, I have no explanation. My guess is that disease, pestilence, and Michael Moore are all perversions of the good that God created, a result of sin entering the world through Adam and Eve.
While I agree with you that the "Jersey Girls" turned themselves into political opportunists, one of your statements about them does strike me as over the top: "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." By contrast, you admit the genuine nature of Cindy Sheehan's grief, even though you're pretty hard on her--and you haven't been criticized for what you said about her. Is there anything you've said about the 9/11 widows that you wish you hadn't said?
Well as long as you bring it up, I think Cindy Sheehan is enjoying the celebrity status her son's death afforded her too. Thanks for pointing that out--I'll correct it in the paperback edition.
You make fun of journalists who predicted that AIDS would become a heterosexual threat: "It's been twenty years, and we're still waiting for that heterosexual outbreak." While it's true that here in the U.S., AIDS is an overwhelmingly gay disease (about 80 percent), that's not so true worldwide, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 40 percent, perhaps up to 48 percent, of those with HIV are women, according to U.N. figures. What do you make of that?
Same lie, different continent--with the same evil consequence: Millions of lives being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. (Could we get back to Fox News polls and dispense with U.N. studies?) AIDS is overwhelmingly spread by anal intercourse and dirty needles. In the U.S., dirty needles come mostly from junkies; in Africa, dirty needles come from medical workers. See, e.g.:
- Craig Timberg, How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated, Washington Post
- Michael Fumento, Why Is HIV So Prevalent in Africa
- Michael Fumento, The African Heterosexual AIDS Myth
By the way, those journalists I make fun of were talking about AIDS in the U.S. So the above information is merely for your edification.
You say: "The core of environmentalism is that they hate mankind." But in February the National Association of Evangelicals, including such signers as Ted Haggard, James Dobson, and Chuck Colson, etc., issued a statement urging Christian stewardship of the environment, "creation care," and so forth. Are these people godless liberals who hate mankind?
Of course not--but I'm beginning to suspect you are. As Dobson and Colson say: God asks us to be good stewards--a statement that presupposes we are stewards of the plants and the animals, they are not stewards of us, as liberals prefer. We are commanded to worship the Creator of the environment, not the environment. As Jesus said, we are of "more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:21).
You say you're a Christian. Do you think Jesus would want you to be nicer to your political opponents?
Who knows? Maybe He'll say I was too tough or maybe He'll chastise me for not being tough enough on those who hate Him. Ask the money-changers in the temple how “nice” Jesus was. Maybe He'll say I needed more jokes or fewer adjectives. I'll just apologize for not getting it right and thank him for dying for my sins.
Assuming that's true, probably because marriage is more popular in the red states than in the blue states and because of all the blue-staters living in the red states.
Is it important to you as a woman to be standing up for positions that many people (especially liberals) think are unrepresentative of women: opposing abortion, favoring the death penalty, and so forth?
The answer to any question beginning "Is it important to you as a woman" is: No. It's important to me as a Christian and an American to take the positions I take, but I would hold the same positions if I were a man. And by the way, despite your nearly mystical fascination with polls in earlier questions, you have apparently not brushed up on the abortion polls if you think opposition to abortion is "unrepresentative of women." No matter who takes the poll or how the questions are asked, women almost always oppose abortion more than men do. Abortion is a convenience for men who want to be able to have sex with women without consequence. Women love and protect children. Godless men--like Herod in Jesus' time, the Pharaoh in Moses' time, and Bill Clinton in our time--target babies for destruction.
As a woman, do you long for that source of great fulfillment for many women: a husband, a family? Or do you see your life's vocation as primarily in the public arena?
As a journalist, do you long to have a sense of decorum? Or do you see your life's vocation as primarily asking strangers utterly inappropriate personal questions?
I found your book enormously entertaining. But when I finished, I asked myself: What was the point of this book? What would you say the point of "Godless" is?
It is a clarion call, a flashing neon sign warning people that liberalism is the opposition party to God. (And by the way, I had the same reaction the first time I read the Bible: Sure, it's fascinating and wise and full of important information, but what was the point of it exactly?)
What does it mean to be a good Christian, and do you consider yourself to be a good Christian?
To believe with all your heart at every moment that God loved a wretch like you so much that he sent his only son to die for your sins. Most of the time, I'm an extraordinarily good Christian.
Do you attend church frequently? Do you pray, and whom and what do you pray for?
Yes and yes. I pretend to attend a giant church in New York City, where I pray for the souls of people who claim I've never been there. I pray for mercy and divine protection from God's enemies. When I'm in a jaunty mood, I pray for Him to smite liberals.
What's your favorite Bible verse, if you have one (besides "By their fruits you shall know them")?
I don't have a favorite, they're all pretty good. Among some I like are:
So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10: 26-28)Read more verses
Do you have a favorite prayer?
Yes, as our Creator taught us: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." and so on.