David Brooks goes against the Right Wing norm
David Brooks must be giving kudos for getting it right. He went against the Right Wing grain as well as against rather elitist comments from journalists Andrea Mitchell and Jon Meacham.
Jon Meacham claimed that within Christianity, the Crusades was an exception to the rule. This illustrates how one can change a narrative when the context is kept limited in scope for a self-serving purpose. As noted in my previous post “This Obama speech put fear into Right Wing Evangelical Leaders,”
The President was rather kind by not articulating the fact that similar heinous behavior in our country is less than just a few centuries and decades past. Isolated heinous acts are less than a few months in our past.
Andrea Mitchell’s comment was simply ludicrous. She does not believe the prayer breakfast is a place to speak truth. “You don’t use the word Crusade in any context right now. It’s too fraught,” Andrea Mitchell said. “And the week after a pilot is burned alive and a video shown, you don’t lean over backward to be philosophical about the sins of the fathers. You have to deal with issues that are in front of you or don’t deal with it at all.” In other words ignore the sins that indirectly impact or have impacted all that is occurring in the world.
Jon Meachem does seem to believe that atrocities in the name of Christ ended with the Crusades. He forgot the savagery Christianity inflicted on Native Americans from the tip of South America, the Caribbean, Central America, to North America. He forgot that African slaves throughout the America’s were murdered, lynched, burned, and beheaded, many of these acts justified by religion. He forgot that while some did these bad deeds in the name of Christ, most Christians remained quiet.
Yet, many Americans now want to condemn Islam because many of its members seem to be just as quiet as Christians still are for many still occurring injustices in America and abroad.
When Chuck Todd asked if politicians can have the debate, David Brooks got it perfectly right.
I am pro Obama. I am totally pro Obama on this. I think he said the right thing. It was a gospel of humility. What sorts of people need a little gospel of humility? People in Washington, pundits, religious believers, — I happen to be all three of those things — and so we are told to walk humbly in the path, that the Lord’s paths are mysterious. And so he was saying we are prone to zealotry. As Jon said we are fallen. So to underline that, that’s useful in Washington today. That’s useful always.
When Chuck Todd asked if it was necessary for a President to leave office before he could speak that candidly, David Brooks response was again on point.
No I think he was right. He gave the race speech. It was a beautiful speech. He has given a whole series of great speeches, Trayvon Martin. I think this was utterly fine. This is exactly the moment you want to say this. We are most in moral danger to ourselves when we are caught up in a righteous fervor against an evil foe. Which is what we have. So while we exercise hard power, we have to take morally hazardous action, we are prone to get caught up in our own self-righteousness. This is exactly the moment you want this.
The President’s speech was about humility. It was about ALL humans being fallible. As such we should all get of the high horses and work together to bring us all together for a better nation, for a better world.