Re "Christian baiting," Opinion, April 1
Jonah Goldberg is way off the mark. The Darwin fish is not necessarily smug Christian baiting by secular progressives. This little fish -- far from being a mockery -- is also used by Christians who have evolved their beliefs to accept God-given advances in science, rather than buy into every literal word in the Bible. "Smug" is the righteous fundamentalist self-knowledge that two centuries of Darwin and modern archaeology should be dismissed for words penned by semiliterate, nomadic Hebrew tribesmen. Goldberg should know vicious intolerance is far from limited to the Muslim extremist. Given the inflammatory rhetoric of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, the Rev. Fred Phelps and their ilk, not to mention the violence perpetrated around family planning and abortion clinics, this brave contempt certainly is aimed at those who might behead them for it.
I don't think Goldberg has seen the pictograms on the cars of some evolution-hating Christians: a bigger Jesus fish, mouth open with teeth bared, ready to gobble up the Darwin fish. I can understand how Goldberg can take offense to the Darwin fish, and yes, it's true that bigotry sometimes begets more bigotry. However, all the Darwin fish reveals is the bigotry present in many Christians for non-Christians. Christians in America probably wouldn't behead Darwinists for the slight. No, their beheadings take more insidious forms: a state's board of education trying to require religious teachings in public schools alongside an unproven "theory" like evolution; perhaps a military branch that actively proselytizes Christianity; or a president who pitches his military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan as battles between good (Christians) and evil (Muslims).
I finally spotted the April Fools' Day joke in Tuesday's paper. Goldberg's opprobrium over the Darwin fish had me excited until I noticed the date. That the fish proves my smugness and mockery of people of faith is laughable, especially coming from an author who would claim that I am a "liberal fascist." From now on I'll have a bumper sticker on my car showing a three-piece-suited Republican cave dweller with a tiny brain and carrying a big club. That is smug, Mr. Goldberg.
Goldberg compares the brutal anti-Islam film "Fitna" with the Darwin fish we occasionally see on cars. Lighten up! The fish is a sly and fun comment on anti-evolutionists. A lot of Christians get a chuckle from it. If only there were more good humor among the world religions -- and on our bumpers.