Thursday, May 13, 2010

Elena Kagan and secularism

The Secular Coalition for America has some disturbing news about Supreme Court nominee (?) Elena Kagan: She is apparently no friend of secularism and church-state separation. She referred to the dissenting opinion in Bowen v. Kendrick — for which she herself wrote an important memo — as "the dumbest thing I ever read" and "deeply mistaken."

The fundamental problem is, of course, not Kagan herself, but president Obama, who has repeatedly favored greater entanglement between religion, politics and government.

(Interestingly enough, I'm watching season 7 of The West Wing, which features a religious, secretly pro-life Democrat pandering to the pro-choice base campaigning against an atheist, moderate, pro-choice Republican pandering to the fundamentalist Christian pro-life base. I don't know whose hypocrisy to be more appalled by.)

(And it's really interesting to watch the The West Wing as a communist. The show is, of course, one of the greatest paeans to American exceptionalism, imperialism and liberal capitalist elitism. I remarked to my wife, "This is what Clinton would have been like if he had a spine."

"Nonsense," she replied. "This is what Clinton would have been like if he'd been an actor in a TV show." As you can tell, my wife is much smarter than I am. It's instructive to note how strongly our political opinions are and have historically been shaped by fiction, where the author openly gets to re-write the facts of the world.)

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