Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Frank Bruni on Sarah Palin's Religious Worldview: Wanted No Part of Sin, Plunged into Politics Nonetheless

Well, in the never-mind category: I'm so sorry I conflated Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann in what I say below--after I had thought I'd read Frank Bruni's article.  I'm leaving the mistake as is, with this preface, as a reminder to myself of how wildly wrong my brain-finger connection can be sometimes, when it thinks one thing and then types another.  I'm very sorry for the silly mistake.  Palin has been on my mind due something I mention in the final sentence.  Thanks to those who pointed out the mistake.

Frank Bruni is another writer I've learned to like (I'm echoing the opening of my posting just a moment ago about Thomas Harrington).  I've followed his op-ed pieces at the New York Times with interest after having discovered his autobiographical work Born Round a few years ago.  As someone who went from being so slight as a boy that I was sometimes described as no bigger than a bar of soap, to someone who began to round out with puberty and who has struggled to constrain the roundness ever since, I can sympathize with Bruni's account of his battle to maintain his weight, especially as a food maven. 

Not to be missed in the Times today: Bruni's commentary on Sarah Palin and her religious claims.  The article is worth the read for this paragraph alone:

Bachmann is an evangelical, and has spoken rhapsodically about the experience of being born again. After that moment, she said, “I absolutely understood sin, and I wanted no part of it.” She plunged into politics nonetheless.

(Bruni is not mounting a broadside slam against evangelicals here, by the way.  As he points out, there are religionists of all shapes and sizes in the U.S. who don't end up on the side of hate, as Palin does again and again.   His thesis is that there's something peculiar about the biblical Kool Aid Palin and her cronies drink, when that's compared with the more salubrious waters many others within the Jewish and Christian traditions appear to be drinking as they draw lessons from scripture about what it means to live according to God's will.)

I recommend Bruni's essay.  I don't think you'll be disappointed if you read it.  And how can anyone read this essay right now without thinking of the video clip making the rounds of the internet in which Sarah Palin's grandson Tripp calls his aunt Willow a faggot on national t.v.?  As his mother and aunt titter, but don't say a single word in reproach--something I may or may not blog about further in a day or so, since the clip cuts very close to home for me because Steve and I have lived through similar scenes with some of my nephews and their parents.

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