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Opinion

Opinion

Pitts’ hypocrisy

March 4, 2011

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To the editor:

Detailing his belief in “God,” Leonard Pitts, with his gimlet eye for the bigotry of the religious right, displays the evasive hypocrisy of the religious left. His theology, in brief, is that he “feels” like it’s so, so “deal with it.”

If only that, we could shrug off his faith as a peccadillo, but Pitts has more. Noting the abrasive certainty of some atheists, he makes a facile comparison with overconfident “fundamentalists.” But that isn’t the term needed. To hold firmly to the fundamentals of a world view is not the problem, if those fundamentals are sound and supported by observation. The trouble is dogmatism: stubborn adherence to a prior belief despite contrary argument and evidence. “I believe it, so deal with it” is the voice of the dogmatist.

The trouble with religious fundamentalists is not their focus on fundamentals; it’s that those fundamentals are implausible and ill-supported. Religious liberals commit the same unjustified leap, but with a nicer face.

Pitts mocks those who “know” God’s purposes, always in line with their preferences, but he often does this himself, describing imaginary conversations with his personal deity, reliably a benign, politically liberal, grandfatherly sage, who wouldn’t smite a fly and was framed by the ugly myths of the Bible. Really?

Honest, respectable belief starts with evidence and moves gradually to conviction, regardless of preference and “feeling.” Irrationality begins with emotional intuition, cherry-picking evidence to suit. When Pitts does the latter in public, we’ll call him on it, and he can “deal with” that.

Comments

lrN51EXCXydF 3 years, 1 month ago

Nobody should care if someone believes.

Nobody should care if someone is an atheist.

You believe what you want, I'll believe what I want.

Just don't try to convince me that you're right and I'm wrong.

Neither of those are true.

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gvnobas 3 years, 1 month ago

Since when did the Boss become right-wing? Actually, since when has the Boss been writing columns? Didn't he play the Democratic conventions in the past?

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Maxwell Butterfield 3 years, 1 month ago

Isn't the left supposed to be the open-minded side? Oh, politics...

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

Bruce, why do you hate black journalists so much?

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ophiuchus 3 years, 1 month ago

"Honest, respectable belief starts with evidence and moves gradually to conviction...."

Hmm... criminal prosecution starts with evidence and moves gradually to conviction....

/ made a "respectable believer" outta me... honestly.

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tunahelper 3 years, 1 month ago

Pitts is just another leftist arrogant know nothing. He hates everything that America is and what America stands for. He hates freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He knows nothing of American History and tries to rewrite history to fit his liberal ideology.

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beatrice 3 years, 1 month ago

Good letter Bruce. Now, put it to music.

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Jimo 3 years, 1 month ago

I would recommend to a narcissist like Mr. Springsteen to lay off the intellectual masturbation and find real humans to interact with. The only thing worse than a defensive no-brain Palin is a smug half-brained bigot. Likewise, any honest search for belief would quickly discover that not all of it is found in a test tube or mathematical formula. I'd rather try to have a rational discussion with a 'Jesus told me so' type than some quack who has adopted an atheistic faith based on even less evidence than what informs a jungle animist.

I am all in favor of rational thought, science, and reason. But even an willful antagonist such as Mr. Springsteen should recognize the faith derived instruction: first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

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verity 3 years, 1 month ago

This letter puts it better than I could why Pitts' article disturbed me. I would add that the abrasive "deal with it" was pot calling kettle.

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yankeevet 3 years, 1 month ago

Custer had faith until Sitting Bull showed up..................

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

"...religious believers."

Ya' mean like far-left environmental extremist loons who blindly follow the Reverend Albert Gore, Jr., Supreme Custodian of the Earth and his Church of Global Warming. I'll stick with my "sky god" thank you.

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yourworstnightmare 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Springsteen is exactly correct. Believing something in the absence of evidence or even despite evidence against it is the true dogmatic fundamentalism.

The true hubris and narcissism displayed by the religious is that they are certain in their belief that not all things can be explained by natural and objective phenomenon.

They are certain that what we do not understand now will never be understood.

They have the hubris and certainty to prematurely answer the unknown by invoking god.

This is the true hubris of the religious believers.

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Bruce Springsteen 3 years, 1 month ago

Cato: Reading comprehension like Shewmon.

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cato_the_elder 3 years, 1 month ago

it's entertaining to observe how committed leftists who complain all the time about "intolerance" routinely submit letters like this one that reek with intolerance.

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Bruce Springsteen 3 years, 1 month ago

Shewmon: You mean beyond your reading comprehension.

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Bruce Springsteen 3 years, 1 month ago

Don't misquote Twain. "Faith is believin' what you know ain't so."

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ignati5 3 years, 1 month ago

Faith is belief in something you know may not be true.

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KUrolls 3 years, 1 month ago

The Mills of the Gods' grind slowly; Yet they grind exceedingly fine. And last, but not least;

When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

Charles Beard

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jonas_opines 3 years, 1 month ago

The topic so nice we posted on it twice!

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

It would great if we could employ a scientific method and use some sort of measuring device mostly on land, to see if there is really a god so everyone could rest much easier. This would require thousands of monitoring devices, sort of like ocean buoys that NOAA uses to measure global water temperatures.......oh wait, forget it. We would end up with "Godgate". Personally, I'm still waiting to see a dogs, cats, cows and pigs showering, dressing, carrying a briefcase and getting into their car and driving to work. Then I may reconsider things. Sorry, but taking this guy's letter to the editors serious is beyond my pay grade.

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75x55 3 years, 1 month ago

"To hold firmly to the fundamentals of a world view is not the problem, if those fundamentals are sound and supported by observation. The trouble is dogmatism: stubborn adherence to a prior belief despite contrary argument and evidence."

One gets the impression that this chronic LTE writer is asking that religious belief be held to the standards of science.

If this is the case, then how is it rational to use a standard, that is by design only for the observation of the natural world, to 'prove' that which is by definition "supernatural", or outside the natural world?

That's right, it's not rational - it's self-serving.

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HollisBrown 3 years, 1 month ago

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday, Let the broken hearts stand As the price you've gotta pay, We'll keep pushin' till it's understood, and these badlands start treating us good

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Tom Shewmon 3 years, 1 month ago

The left and their secularist views are always interesting. That's what makes America a great country---diversity and freedom to be whatever you wanna be----and in this case better you than me.

May a sky god bless.

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