O cruel, irreligious piety


Many of us are guilty of sometimes taking content-free swipes at religions and religious figures. Nor is any publication free from the occasional phoned-in column. I figure most Americans are either clever or god-fearing enough to route around both. But then I notice that there are apparently enough admirers out there to make absolute drivel like this the day's Number 2 article from The New York Times, and well… I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

NEXT: Caution: Censorship

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I dunno, seemed like run of the mill drivel to me.

  2. I guess I’m dumb. I don’t understand.

  3. Tim Cavanaugh,
    I can’t believe you’re knocking Maureen Dowd. Her worst column would still be above average, as columns go.
    And I’ll bite:
    Why do you tremble for your country when you reflect God is just?

  4. She makes good wisecracks sometimes.

  5. The Real Bill,
    Why do I fear Karen Hughes more?

  6. I don’t understand either. It’s a damn sight better than a lot of her other stuff.

  7. right and we’re a few steps away from rehashing the scopes trial.

    i’d rather have the da vinci code that knows it’s fiction rather than creationism taught in the classroom as fact.

    get some perspective dude.

  8. At the mention of the NY Times, I just assumed you were linking to the latest vapidity from David Brooks– http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/26/opinion/26brooks.html

  9. One of the reasons Star Trek “sucked” is because the characters have to constantly explain to the audience what they’re doing as they’re doing it. British comedies don’t have to do this because the producers can be fairly sure that a large portion of the British audience has already worked their way through a plot once or twice in grade school. One of the reasons I like Hit & Run so much is because it’s more like British comedies this way and not so much like Star Trek.

    “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”

    If God is just, then the people of America will be punished for making such drivel the number two story of the day. That’s my guess.

    …But then, I didn’t go to grade school in Britain, so I suppose my guess is as good as anyone else’s.

  10. Somehow, when I saw the words “New York Times” and “drivel”, I knew there was going to be a Maureen Dowd column on the other side of that link. Obviously, I was not disappointed.

    Fred Reed recently wrote a scathing, mean-spirited, and probably dead accurate column featuring the Divine Miss Dowd.

    I recommend it to anyone in need of a good laugh.

  11. Another silly thread.

    Ken, I gotta disagree with you. (Not with your explanaition of Tim’s trembling – that was spot on)

    I gotta go to the mat for my fellow trekkies on this one.

    As for H&R being like a British comedy where nobody has to explain everything, well, I hate to point it out but doesn’t your “explaining” negate that observation.

  12. British comedies are almost always funny. Sometimes Hit and Run posts head off into cricket land.

    And I don’t mean the boring English game played best by Indians.

  13. Dowd’s political opinions are generally drivel. She does seem pretty hot to these middle-aged eyes, though. Not Jessica Alba hot, but a fellow has to put some fantasies behind him in mid-life.

    What’s goofy about The Da Vinci Code, which I didn’t bother to read, is that it just seems like a thrillerized Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Yawn.


  14. Ruthless:
    Why do I fear Karen Hughes more?

    Why don’t you fear them both?

  15. Oh, I GOT the “God is just” bit; what I did not understand was how Dowd’s latest is “absolute drivel”. But then I’m a sucker for religion-bashing pieces (and on Easter, no less!).

  16. We are, yes, confused as to which female novelists have employed the JC x MMag. theme. (per article:

    For years, female historians and novelists have been making the case that Mr. Brown makes, that Mary Magdalene was framed and defamed, that the men who run Christianity obliterated her role as an influential apostle and reduced her to a metaphor for sexual guilt. )

    We know Umberto Eco, he with the Foucault’s Pendulum.

    We have, yah, established the Holy Blood Holy Grail above us.

    We, indeed, recall old Nikos Kazantzakis, who did pen The Last Temptation of Christ.

    But, we know not, which women.

    Is Umberto Eco a women?

  17. For those who resist registration: For some reason, I was able to find a copy of the column on the NYT’s Web site that you don’t have to register to see, here.

    I don’t get Tim’s point, though. Unlike most Dowd columns, this doesn’t give me the urge to repeatedly slam a desk drawer on my genitalia until the memory of reading it fades. At least not very much.

  18. Upon reflection, maybe Tim means this column is so blah, it’s disturbing to conclude there are so many reflex Romophobes out to there, so hungry to feed their animosity, that they would seize upon this lackluster entry and make it one of the NYT’s most-e-mailed pieces.

  19. If you can’t attack a woman for her ideas make it about her alleged single status or her appearance …. not a tactic used near as often against men but …

    And sheesh you would think it wouldn’t be that hard to argue against Dowd’s ideas.

  20. Isn’t Dowd an Irish Catholic or something along those lines? Jesus, if anybody deserves a Free Pass to make fun of the Holy Roman Church, why not an Irish Catholic? (Oh, wait, I think Tim is one of those characters, too!)

    Was watching a lame “Easter Special” on the History Channel last weekend, all about the Da Vinci Code. Of course, most of the interviews were with people who wrote the books that gave Mr. Brown his plot: “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” etc. While I couldn’t much care if Jesus died on the cross or didn’t, or whether Mel Gibson had the Inside Scoop or not, or whether the Yeshua family high-tailed it out of Roman-controlled Judea for the safer lands of … Roman-controlled Southern France? … it does seem kind of goofy to be zealous about protecting the pedigree of a religion that was all but invented in the 4th Century.

    I am just waiting for a columnist to try to explain the “Twin Peaks” style narrative of the Book of John. (Oh, and by the way, John the Baptist totally sucked and wasn’t any sort of special buddy, and he himself told this to Jesus all the time.) Eh.

  21. She makes a good (if obvious, to me at least) point. It *is* a bit late in the game for the Church to come out against the book. Not that it would have really mattered two years ago. Rome’s recent criticism seemed so late, and so overwrought, I’d swear it was a stealth marketing campaign by Dan Brown.

  22. They’re probably responding at this point due to hordes of really really annoying and credulous DaVinci Code tourists asking questions at European churches, as if the book were true.

    I’ve read that a church in England, mentioned in the book, is having problems due to the increased tourist traffic. It’s starting to damage the place.

  23. Maybe the post is a puzzle much like many of the things in the book?

    Read the book (good, not great) Read the post and read the column.

    The post here makes the least amount of sense.

  24. Ken Layne: I am just waiting for a columnist to try to explain the “Twin Peaks” style narrative of the Book of John.

    Eh? Do you mean the way the Log Lady keeps showing up at random? The way Peter keeps saying, “Damn fine coffee!” ? Or when Jesus says, “The owls are not what they seem”?

  25. HelLO! Spoiler alert. Just because the Papacy and Rome (as a well-known, decision-making entity) can be made fun of for their slow reaction times to “current” affairs, doesn’t mean that all individuals who haven’t read that book yet deserve a spoiler! I stopped reading when she started rehashing “The DaVinci Code” plot. So what if I’m years behind in my reading? Columnists need to respect those of us with our heads buried neatly in the sand. I bet that is why Maureen Dowd and the NYT got so many emails – it’s the g.d. spoiler in her column.

    While I’m at it, she’d better not spoil the plot of “A Christmas Story” or “Romeo and Juliet” for me, either.

  26. Er, I meant “A Christmas Carol”. Kind of ruined my own joke there….heh heh

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.