Whoa… someone remind me never to get on the bad side of Hugh Hewitt…..
Sullivan’s “christianist” rhetoric, like a great deal of other similar rhetoric, is deeply offensive, and is in fact hate speech, designed not to describe but to incite, specifically to incite an emotional, irrational hatred of the person(s) to whom it is applied. Sullivan has never defined the term, but its accordian-like quality allows it to expand to take in Roman Catholic-turned-Presbyterian, Arlen Specter-supporting big tent Republican me. It is a label intended to be both derogatory and dismissive, one designed to avoid argument, especially arguments that can’t be replied to, for example, the argument that same sex marriage has never –not once in the history of all the states and the federal government– received the assent of a majority of legislators and the signature of the executive. It has never not been rejected by a majority of voters when placed before them in an initiative.
The attempt to dismiss any commentator as “Christianist” has much in common with any of many other slurs intended to close down an argument before it begins.
Mostly, though, Sullivan’s invention and use of the bigoted term was intended as shorthand for those who think George Bush a very good man and a very good president. I am a defender of the president, though not when I think he or his Adminstration makes an error like the ports deal or the briefs in the Michigan affirmative action cases. Sullivan’s frenzied, sometimes even hysterical attacks on pundits and analysts who admire the president and his team are the means to understanding Sullivan. He is consumed by Bush hatred. So much so, in fact, that he has branched out into hating those who not only don’t hate Bush, but admire him.
Apart from faith, I do not, however, trust haters of any sort. Thus my contempt and pity is reserved for anti-Semites, anti-gays, anti-blacks, and yes, anti-Christians. Bigots are, at their core, all the same, no matter what the object of their hatred. Sullivan has slipped –slowly, and by small steps– into the disfiguring hatred of bigotry. I hope for him, as for Mel Gibson, that he recovers.
I completely agree that opposing gay marriage on policy grounds does not make one an automatic gay-hater or gay-basher. And supporting President Bush in his dedication to defeating Islamic terrorism does not make one an anti-Constitutional freedom-hating fascist. Supporting the Patriot Act does not make one automatically opposed to freedom and civil liberties. Is it possible the MadLibDems have become the “black and white” group as the world turns more shades of “gray”?
Some GayPatriot readers would be well advised to check out the Gibson-Sullivan Bigotry Recovery Program as well.
(Full disclosure: Hugh Hewitt has linked to GayPatriot several times and both Dan and I have had a good blogger-to-blogger rapport with him over the past two years. He is far from an anti-gay bigot.)
UPDATE (from GPW): After a busy week finishing my Comp Exam and heading off to 4 intense days of classes, I hope to be back to blogging by Sunday. Just wanted to chime in about Hugh. I have met Hugh at a bloggers’ confab, introduced myself and identified the blog. He could not have been more cordial. This was during the time when Bruce has stopped blogging; he was delighted to learn that I was keeping this blog going.
Hugh and I have exchanged e-mails from time to time. While I disagree with his stance on gay marriage, he has shown an openness to the ideas of individual gay people, devoting an entire hour of his show to Mary Cheney.