Tuesday, February 20, 2007


In the comments at Beliefnet, Jesse Lava of Faithful Democrats says:

But Atrios and Matt Stoller don't really do that. What they do is speak a language that, to devout Christians' ears, tends to sound dismissive. This is just a comment thread, so I'm not going to do a research project for you, but Atrios has said that religious language sounds like "gibberish" to him, for example -- and I'm sure it does, which is fine, as far as it goes. But throwing in little barbs like that are the kind of thing that raise religious folks' defenses.

How is that a barb? I'm not religious, I have only a passing familiarity with Christian theology, its associated customs, and the language used by its adherents when discussing it. Finnish is also gibberish to me, as are string theory and the jargon of most academic fields other than economics. When I referred to religious language as gibberish, I plainly said it was "gibberish to me." Here's what I wrote:

The Language of Religion

It's something I don't understand. It's gibberish to me. When people start invoking religion in discussing issues they may as well be talking Martian. I'm not being insulting here, I'm just saying it's utterly meaningless to me personally.

I'm not obligated to understand your traditions, and don't claim to. It's that simple.