The Victorians had what they call "muscular Christianity". For the last few years in America, we've had what I'm tempted to call stupid Christianity, which regards faith and the intellect as incompatible.
(But we also have stupid muscular Christianity, as this New York Times magazine profile of Seattle evangelist Mark Driscoll proves. Read it Here)
I've been thinking about this because Samuel Wurzelbacher (AKA Joe the Plumber, except he really wasn't) is off to Israel to report on that country's invasion of the Gaza for a right-wing religious web site.
In a saner, more civilized world, he'd be the punchline to a bad joke, as would his female counterpart, Sarah Palin, who's been complaining to a conservative filmmaker making an anti-Obama propaganda piece that Caroline Kennedy's been getting a free ride from the media while she was pilloried from pillar to post.
Of course, Palin's ignoring the fact that Kennedy can actually put together coherent sentences and has shown some intellectual gravitas by graduating from Harvard and Columbia University Law School and writing a book or two.
When I think of Sarah Palin (and Sam Wurzelbacher), I want to paraphrase something Mary McCarthy once said of Lillian Hellman: "Every word that comes out of their mouths is a lie, including and and the." Geoffrey Dunn on "Sarah Palin's Big Obama Lie."