I’m listening to Terry Gross interview Bill Maher and Larry Charles (director of Borat) about the movie Religulous. While I haven’t seen it yet, I think I’ve heard enough to talk about it. Maher picks off low-lying fruit by singling out fundamentalist elements of religion but it needs to be done as it is the shrill element of religiousity that makes religion dangerous. People need their stories for moralism and philosophy but when the stories seriously cloud rational judgments about history, current events, and science, and are accepted as truth, they really do belong in a psych ward.
Later in the show, Terry interviews Steven Waldman, co-founder of Beliefnet — probably the closest thing to an objective platform for faith. The main topic of both interviews turned out to be Sarah Palin. There are Youtube videos and statements that raise all kinds of questions that have not yet been asked of Ms. Palin. Like Matt Taibbi, who has a long rant on Palin published at Rolling Stone and Alternet, I think the Palin phenomenon says really disturbing things about the American psyche in general. Here’s Taibbi’s windup:
The truly disgusting thing about Sarah Palin isn’t that she’s totally unqualified, or a religious zealot, or married to a secessionist, or unable to educate her own daughter about sex, or a fake conservative who raised taxes and horked up earmark millions every chance she got. No, the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: that you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we’ll not only thank you for your trouble, we’ll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for a few hours around election time.
The Palin nomination really boggles my mind. I don’t think I’ll be watching her debate Joe Biden on Thursday. It’s getting too painful to watch this trainwreck.
Recommended: TPM gathers highlights of several economist views on the Wall Street bailout.