Jeffrey Tayler calls out David Brooks for telling atheists how to behave

March 17, 2015 • 2:45 pm

Jeffrey Tayler, a corresponding editor for The Atlantic stationed in Moscow, is really on a roll, publishing one “strident” atheist article after another—and in Salon, of all places.  And he’s developing quite a nice style—sort of a hybrid between Hitchens and Mencken—in which his overt scorn for religion is combined with a delicious sarcasm.

Tayler’s latest piece, published two days ago, has the lovely title of “David Brooks, religious clown: Debunking phony Godsplaining from the New York Times’s laziest columnist“. Believe me, it will do your heart good to read it. I love the “Godsplaining” neologism, which could equally apply to those Sophisticated Theologists™ who try to tell the rest of us what God is really like.

On February 3, Brooks wrote a column for the Times called “Building better secularists.” It was a smarmy, goddycoddling, and patronizing attempt to instruct nonbelievers about what lessons we need to take from religion. It’s the usual tripe: we have to work hard at building our own morality (because, you know, without God it’s really hard!), we have to form communities, we have to have Sabbath-equivalents (maybe lighting candles for Camus?), and so on.  Anyway, I was too dispirited to analyze Brooks’s lame effort in detail, but did a short dissection on this site (I also reproduced some letters to the Times by Dan Dennett and others who groused about Brooks’s piece).

But Tayler has done the hard work of really taking Brooks to the woodshed. I’m not going to repeat what you can read on Salon, but I want to reproduce three paragraphs of his article, just so you can see Tayler’s emerging style, which, to me, presages the birth of a powerful new voice of atheism. Now if Tayler could get this stuff into The Atlantic, or other places besides the normal goddycoddling Salon, it would be wonderful.

Voilà:

One might deem it almost shameful to publish one’s musings on the New York Times’ opinion page, the same page that continues to print, and quite shamelessly, the unapologetic scribbles of Iraq War cheerleader Thomas Friedman or the earnest yet befuddled lucubrations of useful Islamist idiot Nicholas Kristof.  The first of these two columnists will probably never be called to account for the bloodshed and mayhem he has sanctioned in the Middle East.  The second, I believe, means well, but by denouncing “Islamophobia” he shows he has accepted as sound a nonsense term that conflates faith and race and equates (well-founded) objections to Islam with prejudice against Muslims as people.  And we should never forget that he, like Friedman, supported the Iraq War.

But what to make of Friedman and Kristof’s seemingly milquetoast colleague, David Brooks?  No shame attaches to him, though by publishing his pro-faith columns, he validates a stupendously (if surreptitiously) baleful Weltanschauung that should long ago have disappeared from our world.  Brooks, in the face of mounting evidence, has striven tirelessly to bequeath credence to the dangerous notion, ever more antiquated and morally untenable, that believing in something asserted without evidence – religion — constitutes a virtue.  That valuing faith above reason makes one a better person. That those who have shrugged off – or laughed away – the comically outlandish claims advanced by the Abrahamic creeds about our world and origins as a species are the ones with the explaining to do.  Should he not be called to account?

I believe so.  Moreover, Brooks’ recent Op-Ed, “Building Better Secularists,” leaves me no choice, or, better said, offers me an opportunity I cannot pass up for commentary.  “Building Better Secularists” is nothing less than an anti-religion writer’s dream come true, an essay remarkable for its utter and complete susceptibility to refutation and repudiation.  The title hints that Brooks intends to teach us godless folks a thing or two.  The result?  He succeeds only in beclowning himself by authoring a sanctimoniously gaseous tract that befits not America’s august Paper of Record, but a highbrow version of Watchtower, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ End-is-Nigh rag once handed out for free by blue-haired little old ladies in tennis shoes in front of speakeasies and liquor shops (and is now available online).

One can hear echoes of Mencken in there. There are no punches pulled, and useful idiots are called useful idiots. What a pity that the New York Times has so many of these UIs (Tanya Luhrmann is another)!

This is less than 20% of Tayler’s piece. Go read it, even if you’re already in the choir, for it’s lovely to see the sanctimonious Brooks taken down several pegs by one of his journalist colleagues.

103 thoughts on “Jeffrey Tayler calls out David Brooks for telling atheists how to behave

  1. I continue to be impressed by Jeffrey Tayler. Besides, anyone who has the gall to tell atheists how to behave needs and deserves to be called out.

      1. I am waiting when someone does call Brooks out one day. If he goes to a forum that would allow it and if Brooks can take what he can dish out.

  2. Tayler has a nice style about his prose and I agree that it would be wonderful if his columns were printed in the Atlantic if for no other reason then I wouldn’t have to give the odious Salon any clicks.

  3. “Brooks, in the face of mounting evidence, has striven tirelessly to bequeath credence to the dangerous notion, ever more antiquated and morally untenable, that believing in something asserted without evidence – religion — constitutes a virtue.”

    my only nit with this piece is the same nit i have with many atheist spokespeople — tayler lets the godly off far too lightly.

    it must be explicitly hammered at every opportunity that the real crime of belief, the real source of its destructive nature, is that believing in something asserted contrary to and in defiance of obvious and mortally damaging evidence constitutes a virtue.

    defining faith merely as “belief without evidence” gives the godly too much credit since too often none of us has the time or the resources to gather all the information we need to make a properly informed decision. it’s therefore often necessary and reasonable to act with little to no evidence — but acting in defiance of the available evidence is a proven prescription for disaster.

    the ongoing misery perpetuated by virtuous denialism cannot be calculated.

    1. Faith as defined by the religious is more varied than either “belief without evidence” or “belief against the evidence.” More often than not it’s seen as based on evidence which is sufficient … to those who want to believe.

      It’s known as “subjective validation” and it’s not a virtue. But the religious quickly put their analogies on and wade through a lot of tedious and inapplicable comparisons like trusting in a faithful friend or committing oneself to follow a hard, demanding moral path and never giving up on love.

      CS Lewis defined Faith as “assent to a proposition which we think so overwhelmingly probable that there is a psychological exclusive of doubt although not a logical exclusion of dispute.” Believers swooned in delight over it. They still wave it about in triumph. Their faith is a reasonable faith. Atheism makes no sense. And so on.

      I think it’s pretty hard to find any person of faith today who would agree that they believe in God or Spirit “without evidence,” let alone in the teeth of all reason. They may be out there, but from what I can tell they’re a minority. Instead they’d rather sneer that this is a Straw Man created by atheists. And then they revert to the idea that the evidence IS there and the atheists IGNORE it because badbadbad things on the atheists’ part. Or that religious truths are known like moral truths or aesthetic experiences and badbadbad things on the atheists’ part.

      I liked Tayler’s article but I wish he’d either retire this definition or expand it.

        1. I watched the video. Novitsky isn’t an ‘oddball,’ this is probably the standard apologetic running through most faiths. The evidence is there but nonbelievers are spiritually blinded by worldly reason and worldly values and worldly awareness. The veil must be lifted and — voila — they suddenly see. The role of the person of faith is to patiently exhibit godly behavior — which could mean either preaching or practicing — and this might be the ‘spark’ that sets off the mighty process.

          It’s a very cunning framework. The fact that supernatural beliefs ‘sound like pure bogusness’ becomes a feature, not a bug. They can still try to reason people over, but there is no fear that the counter arguments should be seriously entertained in order form them to be “fair” in the usual way. Within the framework of faith, you’re not dealing with equals on common ground: you’re dealing with the spiritually crippled. It’s a built-in presupposition which is supposed to color the whole process.

          It’s the distinction between rational persuasion and religious conversion. The latter only mimics the former. But sometimes a surface resemblance to reason can fool the religious themselves so that they forget that their viewpoint ought to sound like pure bogusness. They unconsciously slip into trying to be reasonable.

          That’s our counter. We trade on the internal contradiction in their goals.

          1. It’s a very cunning framework. The fact that supernatural beliefs ‘sound like pure bogusness’ becomes a feature, not a bug.

            It’s actually built right into the canon–1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (probably the most intellectually terrifying passage in the whole book), and a smattering of other verses–that fundagelicals use to conclude that they know the TRVTH™ and that everyone else is blind and fooling themselves. Been there, done that, never going back again.

      1. A theologian (sic) I know recently told his students that God’s non-existence is illogical! Christians routinely present the empty tomb and “but lots of people saw him” as evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. When you believe, any evidence is sufficient evidence.

    2. Well the “Godly” outnumber us and most of them don’t want to step on our toes or our head, at least not yet, to be on our side. Make allies, friends and build bridges with those who agree to secular govt. We will fare better that way.

      1. But firmly and politely show them why they’re wrong. Only that will bring them closer to our view, and we fare best when atheists are more numerous — as does everyone.

  4. Terrific article by Tayler. I would like to think that this highly informed and carefully controlled piece will be disseminated (even) more widely. I wonder if Brooks will dare to respond.

  5. “One might deem it almost shameful to publish one’s musings on the New York Times’ opinion page, the same page that continues to print, and quite shamelessly, the unapologetic scribbles of Iraq War cheerleader Thomas Friedman or the earnest yet befuddled lucubrations of useful Islamist idiot Nicholas Kristof.”

    Oof, that was brutal.

    1. But called for. Now that he’s gone after Friedman, Kristof, and Brooks, can we await his take on Maureen Dowd? When she first appeared on the scene I thought she was fantastic, but now I can hardly bear to read her.

      Never thought it’d be an economist who made the NYT opinion pages worth reading…go, Krugman! Oh, and there’s Gail Collins, as well.

      1. Yes, Gail Collins is great (remember her swearing to put Romney’s dog on top of the car into every one of her columns until the election?). Somehow I’ve forgotten to look for her recently.

      2. MoDo is the only one of the bunch who can be any fun to read — though Krugman still shows an occasional flash of color. The rest are etiolated stuffed shirts.

        The editorial page of the Gray Lady used to be the best real estate in journalism. Now Sulzberger has to get maintenance to go by the editorial room to water them twice a week.

          1. You’re right. Our Miss Dowd can go over-the-top with tartness. It’s of a whole with her burnishing a Dorothy-Parker-style persona.

            Still, she’s like a breath of fresh Hudson-River air in that crowd.

      3. I wasn’t so much commenting on the targets (most of whom I don’t know from Adam, ahem, luckily) but at the language used.

        That is a proper kicking, and the more you appreciate the use of language the more thorough it is!

      4. ” . . . can we await his take on Maureen Dowd? . . .now I can hardly bear to read her.”

        Concur. She is one apotheosis of “infotainment” and institutional gossip. She apparently requires the “professorial” Obama to entertain her. This bloody business of applauding at (presidential) debates is for the sparrows.

        ” . . . go, Krugman! Oh, and there’s Gail Collins, as well.”

        Concur.

    1. Agreed. The phrase I liked most in this was, “beclowning himself by authoring a sanctimoniously gaseous tract”.

  6. Really love that piece.

    And then, in true Salon fashion, was followed by “How new age crystal dildos changed one sex shop worker’s life.”

    Boy, do they have *my* number.

  7. He seems to have a bone to pick with Iraq War supporters. The Hitch supported the war too, any while I disagree with him on this, I think his legacy is not really tarnished by such support, and for drifting a bit to the right. Surely Tayler can dismiss Friedman for more egregious behavior.

    1. Some of us think that the subsequent slaughter and suffering made such behavior about as egregious as it gets.

    2. Hitch’s support for the attack on Iraq is the biggest blot on his record, and it tarnishes it considerably. A lesser person could be discounted entirely after such a blunder, they having nothing of sufficient weight to compensate.

  8. Question: How many fingers would it take to count the number of people who view David Brooks as a religion/atheism expert?

  9. The Brooks piece is an embarrassment in many respects. But it shows nicely how religion and its apologetics infantilize thought. Tayler is on the mark calling Brooks a “religious clown”. Or maybe not: clowning can be fun for spectators. Brooks writing on this topic is just pathetic. I means this guy is highly educated.

    Zuckerman wrote a book about how Denmark and Sweden, two of the least religious societies are faring, “Society without god” (2008, New York Univ Press). Does one really have to point out again that all the comparative evidence rejects the idea that non-religious people have any trouble leading moral lives? (Is Louisiana a better place to live than Massachussets?)

    Does religious folks advising us on morality not fit the definition of chutzpah: Killing your parents and then pleading for mercy because you are an orphan?
    Keep it coming Mr Tayler!

  10. “Brooks then (unconvincingly) professes to worry about us atheists, and laments that “an age of mass secularization is an age in which millions of people have put unprecedented moral burdens upon themselves. People who don’t know how to take up these burdens don’t turn bad, but they drift. They suffer from a loss of meaning and an unconscious boredom with their own lives.””

    What pathetic wishful thinking from Brooks. This is the desperate fantasy of many theists, that atheists simply have to be worse off than them. They keep repeating this lie as a mantra to make themselves feel superior. IMO, this points out that love of the religion itself does not salve the believer, they are desperate for any and all external validation. That an atheist denies this makes them fearful and angry.

  11. Another top-notch piece by Tayler; Brooks has been well and properly fisked. Ordinarily, Brooks is too nebbishy — too namby-pamby, too middle-of-the-road — to get exercised about. But with the article Tayler takes down — and given the terrible, cloying article where he turned his back on free speech and Charley Hebdo — Brooks has earned every scintilla of vitriol Tayler crams up his keister.

  12. Brutal and accurate, but I ended up feeling sorry for Brooks by the end. I don’t know how Hitchens was able to be mean and get me to love him, because I sense the meanness if someone else does it. Maybe it’s because I heard him rather than read him, and he had a fantastic voice/delivery.

  13. The content of Taylor’s articles sounds great and I’ll take a look. But I’m not going for the atheist “red meat.” Just saying essentially that Nicolas Kristof is an idiot debases Taylor in my eyes. Kristof does more good in the world than our heroes combined. And saying that Islamaphobia is “a nonsense term that conflates faith and race and equates (well-founded) objections to Islam with prejudice against Muslims as people” is projection at its worst. The term absolutely has legitimate uses, even if it’s abused.

    Sorry, Professor, but my feeling is that while this sort of article is intellectually tight (and perhaps necessary), it’s a great example of how form matters, and how this community build walls around itself that it doesn’t need to.

    1. My bad… I had mixed up Kristof with a conservative pundit whose name I now cannot recall. Seems like Kristof called the Iraq war for the sham it was, and sized up the Bush obsession pretty well 6 months prior.

      Can anyone remind me why Kristof was thought to be a war supporter? Seems like he predicted the civil war, properly diagnosed the BS uranium cake lies, etc.

      1. You must be thinking of Kristol, who I believe “discovered” Sarah Palin and put her forward as a VP candidate.

            1. Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope!

              Yes, that would be much worse.

      2. You were probably thinking of Bill Kristol.

        Was Kristof ever thought to be a war supporter? AFAIK the biggest beef with him is that he won’t countenance a single bad word about Islam.

      3. Stephen-my comment wasn”t directed at you, but at our Professor. It refers to statements in the blog post itself.

        1. Oh, I know — no probs… and I think you made a good call. The article seems to lump Kristof in with any of the credulous supporters – while, if anything, Kristof has a long, distinguished history of putting his butt on the line, and getting some serious and thoughtful journalism out in the process.

      4. Along with John Podhoretz and Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol is part a group of second-generation rightwing lunkheads carrying out a grand demonstration of regression toward the mean (although in Goldberg’s case, there are not many more mean — in both senses of the word — than his mama, Lucianne, so there’s not much for poor Jonah to regress from).

    2. I’m not sure what these walls are. You seem to be making the “tone” argument–that although you see the piece as “right and necessary”, it turns off people with its stridency.

      Sorry, reader, but I don’t agree with you.

      And the fact is that nonbelief in the US is increasing, not decreasing. The piece may turn you off, but what’s your evidence that it’s driving people away from atheism? You have none.

      Mencken regularly called people idiots, and while I rarely do it here, there’s a time and place for it.

      1. Professor – as much as I’d like to believe it, I don’t think the increase in non-belief has much to do with pieces like Taylor’s. But that’s another conversation.

        What set me off about Taylor’s article (as quoted in your blog) was the directionless quality of his contempt. Brooks deserved it (I couldn’t get two paragraphs into Brooks’ article when it first appeared), but Krisof?? That guy is a friggin’ saint, not at all stupid, and to call him “befuddled” and an “islamist” makes me question Taylor’s entire viewpoint. Summarizing Friedman as an “Iraq war cheerleader”?? He will stop cold a great fraction of readers right at that juncture, I guarantee it.

        As for my evidence for a self-created “wall” – that’s mostly based on experiences discussing these kinds of issues with others who may not agree entirely (or at all) with me or with friends sharing my views. This is not the right venue to go into it, but I see a direct and strong negative correlation between the ability to make progress convincing those on the “other side” and stridency. (And in the moment I can be as guilty of anyone of Taylor-like stridency.)

        If I have any tiny voice here, it’s one exhorting us to rise above the contempt for our intellectual enemies. As you say, there’s a place for calling out idiots (and I love a good Hitchens “gotcha” as well as anyone here). I also acknowledge that our community is barraged daily with stupid ideas, willful mischaracterizations, and outright contempt (of which Brooks’ article is a great example). But if we want to spread the “word” of non-belief as far and quickly as possible, I think we need to be better than that.

        1. You make a good point but I think you underestimate the value of the more passionate but “disrespectful” approach when dealing with an extremely privileged and overinflated estimate of worth.

          In order for the reasoned criticisms to work religion has to be “de-sacralized.” We have to move it out of the category of “core beliefs which we don’t argue about” — where it rests too comfortably with race, lifestyle, and other inviolable matters of individual identity — and move it into the category of “factual claims we should argue about” — so that religion rests uncomfortably with science, politics, and other disputable matters of human conclusion.

          That cultural exodus is going to be jarring. It’s going to involve heaving dead cats into sanctuaries. Expressions of contempt with the reasons behind it is not mere name-calling. The religious are outraged at our temerity before we begin. Spiritual beliefs are supposed to be as sacred as spiritual truths. But the believers are human, and like ourselves.

          Personally, I think both the strident and soft approaches work in their own way. And I think they work even better together. The Overton Window won’t shift far if the Worst Thing They Can Imagine is a professor calmly writing philosophy for the general public.

        2. “…but Krisof?? That guy is a friggin’ saint, not at all stupid, and to call him “befuddled” and an “islamist” makes me question Taylor’s entire viewpoint.”

          No one is a saint, KD. Kristof has indeed done a lot of good, but in this one area he will not admit that there’s anything wrong with Islam.

          See the write-up Jerry did of the Bill Maher show where Kritof & Ben Affleck clashed with Bill & Sam Harris):

          https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/maher-harris-kristof-steele-and-affleck-squabble-about-islam/

          And see some of Harris’s remarks about it here:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo7z2Ml2tI0

          Kristof also wrote an appalling NYT book review of Hirsi Ali’s Nomad.

          (There was also an unrelated fairly recent instance in which Kristof did not do due diligence before supporting a do-gooder who turned out to be a fraud, and then had trouble admitting his mistake…)

          But yes, he’s opened many eyes to the real misogyny that exists in this world!

    3. “And saying that Islamaphobia is “a nonsense term that conflates faith and race and equates (well-founded) objections to Islam with prejudice against Muslims as people” is projection at its worst. The term absolutely has legitimate uses, even if it’s abused.”

      Preposterous!

      Though I assume you are conflating Muslimophobia with ‘Islamophobia’, which is like conflating smoker-hate with anti-smoking campaigns. Funny how Tayler said just that.

      1. “Preposterous” is not an argument. Please explain how Islamaphobia does not have legitimate meaning and use?

        Don’t conflate the word with its application. I’m not in the least saying Taylor, or most of of the people in this community, suffer from it.

    4. Journalism need not be a sanguinary sport, but a journalist ought not be so sanguine himself that he dissolves off the page like cheap newsprint, as Brooks does.

      The rough-and-tumble expression of strong opinion keeps a democracy fit. By providing it, Tayler and those like him serve the public weal.

      1. Finally got to reading Tayler’s article. While I agree with him on almost everything, I think the ad hominems of clown and idiot delivered to Brooks and Kristof were unnecessarily mean-spirited.

        1. That’s a legitimate criticism, Merilee. But there’s lots of room for all kinds of journalism in the Republic. That’s the thing about free speech.

          Otherwise, we end up with a steady diet of Brookses and Broders and their ilk — like being served mush three meals a day, and who could stomach that?

          1. Agreed about not wanting mush, but I particularly don’t think that Kristof deserves the idiot label considering all the good he’s attempted on behalf of young women worldwide. ( and believe me, there are many people I would tar with the idiot brush – and worse;-)

            1. I don’t think he’s an idiot, either. I just don’t think he’s any great shakes as an op-ed writer.

              His work on behalf of women worldwide is noble — though I’m sometimes put off by his predilection for the beau geste, as when he personally endeavored to save that young prostitute in Thailand. Such grand gestures seem to have as much to do with the hero’s narcissism as with the victim’s salvation, or with turning the victim into a prop for the hero’s story.

              1. You may have somewhat of a point on the beau gestes, but I do think there are many many people way ahead of him on the idiot list (not that there isn’t room for more…)

  14. What a gorgeous essay! He was channeling our bygone hero Hitch for sure.

    David Brooks just got summoned to the adults table only to be sent to his room and told “I will not be spoken to in that tone of voice.”

    1. Oh, he was more than channeling Hitch. One might even accuse him of intellectual plagiarism. Tayler:

      That Brooks can seriously present religion as a force for good today has everything to do with the Enlightenment he disses, with our hard-won secular governance. That is, with religion’s having lost the power struggle, at least in the West. When “men of the cloth” ruled us, they did not hesitate to apply the thumbscrews, and, no doubt, “exalted” as they did so.

      Hitchens:

      Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.

      I rather prefer the latter. That unctuous merchant in a bazaar image is priceless.

      1. I see the similarities, too, although Tayler’s is more of a bludgeoning style, whereas the Hitch would slip a shiv between the ribs and finish it with a mordant twist.

  15. “living free of the tyranny of an imaginary despot in the sky and his money-grubbing minions on earth”

    “without invoking the divisive hokus pokus of faith, the silly abracadabra of prayer”

    He certainly knows how to turn a phrase. I’ve bought his short ebook about Femen on the strength of this article.

  16. Brooks then (unconvincingly) professes to worry about us atheists, and laments that “an age of mass secularization is an age in which millions of people have put unprecedented moral burdens upon themselves. People who don’t know how to take up these burdens don’t turn bad, but they drift. They suffer from a loss of meaning and an unconscious boredom with their own lives.”

    I suppose I’ve been too busy “drifting” and reeling under the weight of all the “unprecedented moral burdens” I’ve saddled myself with by disbelieving in God to notice my “loss of meaning” and “unconscious boredom.” In fact, I rather enjoy the freedom to determine my life’s course without adherence to obsolete strictures coming down to us from ancient eras, and I know many other atheists who feel the same way.

    Even worse for Brooks, before religion was invented, many more generations of Homo was happy to put those moral burdens upon themselves, without any apparent signs of absence of “meaning” or “unconscious boredom”. What little we can glean from their lives tell of same morals (Neanderthals cared for young and old) and vast activity.

    Conversely, Brooks has no evidence for his claims, he just elevates religion without any basis for doing so.

    Homo did fine before religion was developed, and we would do fine if it suddenly disappeared (as if by magic, say =D).

    1. Whaddya mean? Before the Christians came along, my ancestors thought that murder, theft, adultery and perjury were just fine. And the way they treated their parents!

    1. “The most immediate conclusion, of course, is that poor people are not poor because they don’t know how to act right. Rather, they’re poor because they don’t have enough money (a status also known as being poor).”

      Good article, thanks!

  17. “The first of these two columnists will probably never be called to account for the bloodshed and mayhem he has sanctioned in the Middle East.”

    What a bunch of nonsense. The notion that one should somehow “be called to account for the bloodshed and mayhem” because he offered his earnest opinion on a hotly debated issue is pernicious garbage. Freidman supported the Iraq War in opinion columns thus he is somehow responsible when things go wrong? Give me a gigantic break. If that is the case, Tayler would have shared the responsibility for the inevitable crimes against humanity Hussein would have committed had he been left in power.

    People like Tayler go on and on about how terrible Islamic regimes are, how oppressive they are, etc. but then seem to fail to grasp the obvious fact that the only way that is going to be brought to an end is through the use of military force.

    1. Since a preemptive invasion of a sovereign country is itself (morally) wrong (except in self defense against an imminent threat, which was not present), surely simply endorsing that action is itself wrong (though likely less so).

  18. “a sanctimoniously gaseous tract” I read Brooks’ article and Tayler’s description is a very good one. I have no idea what Brooks’ point was.

  19. I hope the Christians will not catch him and try an excorcism to get the spirit of Christopher Hitchens out of him.

Leave a Reply