Godless in the New York Times

I love the New York Times, I really do. It’s just quality. And I think articles supporting my positions are more powerful when written from the opposite side of the political and moral spectrum; e.g., check out this one from a while back. (I’m sorry, but I can’t stand Fox News and I never go there unless forced. All that brazen screaming—and that’s just the graphic design. For a conservative perspective I prefer the Wall Street Journal opinion pages.)

Of course, sometimes articles or, more frequently, blog posts and editorials at the Gray Lady fit the outrageously liberal stereotype the entire paper suffers among some of my conservative cohorts.

Here’s an example. Timothy Egan today suggested: “Let’s go Godless for the rest of the campaign.” It’s the tired old non-overlapping magisteria argument: “Religion, you stay on your side of the back seat—and don’t even think about entering no-man’s land! Better yet, there’s space in the trunk!”

Listen to how condescending Egan can be:

The fact that these people [John Hagee and Pat Robertson] were taken seriously about anything other than, say, what color socks to wear on bingo night, tells us something about how far we’ve strayed rom the pulpit into the town square.

Egan quotes with approval Thomas Jefferson: “Say nothing of my religion. It’s known to my God and myself alone.” And he adds JFK: “I believe in a president whose views on religion are his own private affair.”

I have two humble, sober questions that Egan should consider: Timothy, where did you get your (religious) view that organized religion should have no influence in public life? And why should your private affairs rule my public ones?

Timothy Egan should read this book.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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