According to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, the problem with America is that it’s too religious. We aren’t as “enlightened” as the rest of the industrialized world and still believe in such superstitious claptrap as the Virgin Birth and the Assumption.
Oh, and if you have faith then you’re not reasonable and intellectual. Sorry to all those faithful theology and philosophy professors—nevermind all the good Catholics in the other intellectual fields.
The Virgin Mary is an interesting prism through which to examine America’s emphasis on faith because most Biblical scholars regard the evidence for the Virgin Birth, and for Mary’s assumption into Heaven (which was proclaimed as Catholic dogma only in 1950), as so shaky that it pretty much has to be a leap of faith.
Most? Maybe most Biblical scholars who Kristof consulted. But there’s more evidence for the Virgin Birth, from the documentary literature of the time, than there is for, say, the existence of Josephus the Chronicler, yet nobody disputes he existed.
But mostly, I’m troubled by the way the great intellectual traditions of Catholic and Protestant churches alike are withering, leaving the scholarly and religious worlds increasingly antagonistic.
He doesn’t even make sense here. Is he trying to say that in the past Catholics were less likely to believe in the Virgin Birth and the Assumption. If only America were becoming the place enamored of the mystical realities of the Christian faith that Kristof imagines it is. How much better off we would be.
And leave it to the Times to run an op-ed so dismissive of the Catholic faith on one of our holy days. What’s next? An op-ed during Ramadan disputing the existence of Mohammed?