Unusual Suspects

Dan Gilgoff explains why the Sotomayor nomination hearings may not be so predictable after all on his U.S. News and World Report blog, God and Country. In The Guide, the magazine of gay travel, entertainment, politics, and sex, veteran religious right watcher Doug Ireland notes that Obama’s rightward moves on matters of concern to Christian conservatives was predictable. More surprising is just how far right he’s gone. At the conservative Weekly Standard, thrice-married marriage expert Sam Schulman manages to surprise — and revolt — pretty much everyone with a new case against same-sex marriage that “has very little to do with one’s feelings about the nature of homosexuality or what the Bible has to say about sodomy.” (Warning: it’s about vaginal “access.”) On GetReligion.org, Molly Hemingway takes a new stealth conservative talking point out for a spin: “the media-promulgated view of the inevitability of same-sex marriage might just be a fabrication of the media.” As far back s 2005, the Rev. Ted Haggard, then the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, told me that same-sex marriage was — let’s see, what was the word he used? Oh, yeah — “inevitable.” So why fight it? It’s a “recruiting tool.” Sort of like Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons — not so much for anti-Catholicism (though that, too!) as for ” a gnostic strain running through our religious imagination,” according to Killing the Buddha’s very own Nathan Schneider, writing for mammon at ReligionDispatches.com.

Jeff Sharlet is a founding editor of Killing the Buddha, coauthor with Peter Manseau of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible (2004) and co-editor of Believer, Beware (2009). Sharlet is also the author of Sweet Heaven When I Die, (2011), C Street, (2010), and the New York Times bestseller The Family (2008).