Posted by: smstrouse | March 3, 2012

Faith-based vs Reality-based: a False Dichotomy

A columnist in the San Francisco Chronicle wrote this week about the lunacy of Rick Santorum’s opinions about the role of religion in making public policy. It was a fine rant, and I agreed with 99% of the column. The troubling part, though, was the statement that Santorum is “a member of that good old faith-based community,” as opposed to “we, in the reality-based community.”

I deplore the attention that conservative Christians are getting and the implication that all of us are on the same page of the right-wing Bible. But I also deplore this notion that faith and reality are mutually exclusive, that a religious person cannot also be a thinking person. It’s not easy for the progressive Christian voice to be heard in the media. We just don’t have the same kind of controversy, inanity, and divisiveness that the media feeds on.

So here’s my idea. It’s nothing new. But we progressives have got to stop wringing our hands and bemoaning our situation. Every time we read a column such as the one I mentioned above, we write a letter to the editor or submit an OpEd piece. I know, it takes time. But we have got to get the word out there that Rick Santorum, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and their ilk do not speak for all Christians.

As of this writing, I haven’t heard whether the Chron will publish my letter to the editor or not. I can only keep on trying. But what if they received ten letters, twenty letters (you know, you can do it by email now, so it’s really easy), fifty letters from p**ed-off progressives, demanding equal time for the faith AND reality based community?  Maybe, just maybe they’d get the message.



  1. Good idea. I can now do this to greater effect as I get to put “Frau Pastorin” — for newspaper purposes, make that “The Rev.” — before my name now (finally!)


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