Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Introducing a new term...


If pressed, I will define Sullivanism as pretending that a position based on personal taste or distaste is based on principles. But really, I'll just apply this label to anything Andrew Sullivan writes that I disagree with.

If you'll remember, Sullivan defined Christianist as follows:

You will notice no mention of terrorism or violence. My use of the term Christianist similarly and simply describes those who believe that the source of any political system should be Christian revelation, rather than the secular principles of the Enlightenment and the American constitution..

Right, it's not a smear; it's not meant to linke Christians with terrorism; it's a description of a modern notion about the fusion of faith and politics. Right.

But then, Sullivan relates the story of a Christian who kiled a gay man because he believed homosexuality was evil under the title of "Christianist terror?

Hmm -- did the perpetrator beat his victim with a rolled up copy of First Things? Has he offered any opinions on the proper role of religion in politics?

Not that I could see. But he's a Christian. And he did something Sullivan (and most people, including myself) don't like. So he gets the label.

Can we therefore please stop pretending that "Christianism" is a neologism designed to describe a novel development in religious political life, and admit that it's nothing more than a smear?

To drive home the smear, Sullivan ends the post with the query, "And this is different from Islamist barbarism how, exactly?"

I offered an answer, as did a reader.

In response, Sullivan admits that the Christianist threat is "nowhere near" the threat of Islamism. Gee, that might explain why "the conservative media" failed to highlight it to Sullivan's satisfaction.