I tried for quite some time to ignore the comments that Senator Obama made recently about religion and how it is being ‘hijacked’ to ‘drive us apart’. The mainstream media and blog after blog after blog (and even Yao) posted about it but I thought it was a marginally interesting debate but never paid it much thought. For some reason though, when I read Ann Althouse’s take on it this morning (after a wildly productive all-nighter), something struck a cord with me.
Althouse suggests that
it’s entirely distracting to use the word “hijack,” especially if the problem you’re talking about has nothing to do with what we saw on September 11th but is simply the way some Christians take the conservative side on various issues and, failing to content themselves with mere belief, participate in politics.
I completely agree with what the moderate-to-conservative Althouse says in the last blurb of her piece. Obama’s comments that criticize the teachings of certain religious sects shows that Obama is doing the same dividing that he was deriding so strongly. I take fault at Althouse’s criticism of the use of the word ‘hijack.’ When I read the article, my first reaction was that it was a solid analysis and my second was that he was blatantly hypocritical. Even though we live in decidedly post-9/11 world, the word ‘hijack’ isn’t out-of-bounds and it takes a highly-sensitive and borderline biased eye to deem that he was ‘exploiting tragedy.’ He used the word legitimately and the only person evoking the image of 9/11 here is Althouse. Ann should stick to commenting on women who don’t stand the way she wants them to and the presence of phallic symbols in campaign ads. If any of you aren’t aware, Althouse created a small internet controversy when she interpreted the substitution of carrots for onion rings in Hilary Clinton’s Sopranos parody to be a sly reference to Hilary emasculating Bill. She later hints to the fact that it was simply a cheap trick to attract readers. Awesome. Althouse’s ploy to attract readers to her blog (and by extention increase her AdSense revenue) has ‘worked’ on another ‘unsuspecting’ blogger. I didn’t write about it when the Jessica Valenti incident occurred or even when the Clinton video happened, but Althouse has very efficiently (it only took 3 months!) turned another ‘fan’ to her so-called ‘anti-Althousian’ camp. This other controversy that I keep referencing occurred when she posted about the way Jessica Valenti (of Feministing.com and Colbert Report fame) posed in a picture with former-President Clinton. According to Althouse, Valenti stood upright and apparently exposed her breasts in an exploitive manner. Perhaps a burqa would have been more appropriate?
Wait. Make sure you aren’t drinking anything before you read the next sentence.
I’d hate for you to blow milk out of your nose and ruin your lovely keyboard. I’m looking out for you.
Back to Obama’s comments, here are my feelings: Yao is right. His post meanders wonderfully between an anti-religion rant, an anti-Grant Swank rant, and a something-Obama rant. I do think Obama was 100% correct in his comments, but by making them, he is doing the exact ‘evil’ he is trying to combat. Valiant effort Senator Obama, but leave this one to the professionals.