1. Michael Moore, filmmaker
2. Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times
3. Ted Kennedy, Democratic U.S. senator, Massachusetts
4. Jesse Jackson, Democratic African-American activist and Christian minister
5. Anthony Romero, American Civil Liberties Union’s executive director
6. Jimmy Carter, former Democratic president
7. Margaret Marshall, chief justice, Massachusetts state Supreme Court
8. Paul Krugman, columnist at The New York Times
9. Jonathan Kozol, education scholar and author
10. Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way
That’s the Top Ten List of the Worst People in America from the new book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (and Al Franken Is # 37).
Apparently, Bernard Goldberg, former CBS News correspondent has a problem with perception. Not to mention a problem with Christians, since at least two of his top ten bad guys are committed Christians: Jesse Jackson and Jimmy Carter. Number 9, Jonathan Kozol, while a self-admitted agnostic, has written at least two books Ordinary Resurrections and Amazing Grace which specifically call for expansion of George Bush’s faith-based initiative as a solution to the problem of poverty in America. Most of the initiatives Kozol cites are outreaches of Christian ministries.
The anti-Christian bias of Goldberg is stunning, particularly when you realize that he’s supposedly on the side of the evangelical right. Pat Robertson had him on the 700 Club the other day and in a fawning interview, failed to ask him one question about why he was attacking Christians. It’s one thing to disagree with someone’s political views, and quite another to blame them for America’s sorry moral state.
Whether or not you find Michael Moore to be over the top politically is it reasonable to argue that he is the worst person in America? Is he worse than, say, pornographers like Rupert Murdoch, whose F/X show Nip/Tuck features weekly excursions into such uplifting fare as anal sex and group sex? (Yes, I’ve watched it. Afterwards, I showered and said my rosary.) Even if you detest the moral values of the entertainment industry, how can you say that Moore’s work is worse than the misogynist garbage that pervades hip-hop? How can he be worse than robber barons like Bernie Ebbers who not only robbed from his shareholders, but stole from his employees?
The evangelicals’ promotion of Goldberg is a reflection of just how far they have sold out the gospel of Jesus Christ to the power-mongers of the political right wing. Giving people like Murdoch and Ebbers a free ride and arguing that a comedian is the 37th worst person in our country would be funny if it weren’t so scary. When you can’t even tell the difference between a shameless partisan screed like 100 People and serious violations of moral issues, then you have officially entered the state of strain-out-the-gnat-and-swallow-the-camel religious insanity.
Of course, madness and religion are quite the bedfellows these days aren’t they?