Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

 The Grim Secularist 

February 17, 2004

It’s always amusing when people carry their arguments to absurd lengths. For example, in the debate over whether the works of “William Shakespeare” were written by William Shakspere of Stratford or by the Earl of Oxford, Shakspere’s partisans feel they must show that their man’s lack of formal education wasn’t a serious disability.

Thus Professor Stephen Orgel assures us that Mr. Shakspere “received in the Stratford grammar school a formal education that would daunt many college graduates today.” Well, maybe, considering that George W. Bush is a Yale alumnus. But Orgel neglects to mention that we’ve no record that Mr. Shakspere attended that school at all, or that he owned a single book, or that he was even able to sign his own name!

Orgel goes on to assure us that “Oxford was not particularly well educated.” No? He was educated at the royal court by the best tutors in England, studied at Cambridge University and the Inns of Court, and spoke and wrote fluent French and Latin.

Yet to hear Orgel tell it, you’d think Oxford would have been better equipped to write Hamlet if he’d attended the Stratford grammar school!

In the same spirit, Republicans are now arguing that John Kerry’s war record is unimpressive — he only received three lousy little wounds! — whereas young George W. Bush showed “courage” by training in “dangerous” military aircraft.

Only one conclusion is possible: Kerry volunteered for combat duty in Vietnam in order to evade serving in the Alabama National Guard!

[Breaker quote: Is Kerry the alternative?]Not long ago, Republican Guard meant Saddam Hussein’s notorious security forces; now it means where today’s war hawks spent the Vietnam years.

Kerry’s candidacy, the increasingly ugly occupation of Iraq, and the revelation (for anyone who was deceived) that Saddam Hussein had no weapons that could threaten the United States — all these have conspired to undercut what Bush thought would be his greatest strength in the 2004 election: his record as a “war president.”

Bush never looked more pathetic than when flailing vainly at Tim Russert’s softball tosses in their recent interview. He kept repeating his final remaining justification for the Iraq war: that Saddam was a “madman” who was somehow “dangerous” — even without the weapons Bush had formerly insisted there was “no doubt” he possessed and was poised to use against us.

Bush so richly deserves to lose this year’s election that it would be a sweet pleasure to say Kerry deserves to win it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t. He would merely offer a different set of evils.

A few months ago, though it already seems longer, the Democrats, alarmed by Bush’s appeal to Christians, were flirting with religion. Even Howard Dean was advertising his spiritual life, in the realization that God has a good reputation among Southern voters.

None of that false piety for Kerry. He represents the grim secularism his party stands for — a party organized around the principle that abortion, or feticide, the killing of human fetuses, is a “basic right.” You can hardly even call him nominally Catholic. He doesn’t bother with the old dodge of being “personally opposed” to what he politically supports. Unlike Bill Clinton, he doesn’t quote, let alone carry, a Bible. For Kerry, religion is such an irrelevance that even lip service to it is unnecessary.

The Democrats have abandoned even moral ambiguity about abortion. They regard it as a good, pure and simple. No opponent of abortion can think about seeking the party’s presidential nomination. Admitting the slightest reservation about it would be fatal.

Of course Bush attaches no urgency to abortion either. He lets on, to his Christian supporters, that he is more or less against it; and unlike Kerry he won’t appoint overtly pro-abortion people to the Federal judiciary, hoping that this will be enough to satisfy his base, who by now have learned not to expect much.

But Kerry is an aggressive secularist, as his positions (we can’t call them convictions) on various issues show. This is no longer regarded as very scandalous or alarming. It’s taken for granted. What else would you expect from a Massachusetts Democrat who habitually votes with Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank?

This is what the two-party system has come to. If Kerry is the alternative to Bush, we must think of alternatives to voting.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2004 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate

small Griffin logo
Send this article to a friend.

Recipient’s e-mail address:
(You may have multiple e-mail addresses; separate them by spaces.)

Your e-mail address:

Enter a subject for your e-mail:

Mailarticle © 2001 by Gavin Spomer
Archive Table of Contents

Current Column

Return to the SOBRANS home page.

FGF E-Package columns by Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, Paul Gottfried, and others are available in a special e-mail subscription provided by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. Click here for more information.

Search This Site

Search the Web     Search SOBRANS

What’s New?

Articles and Columns by Joe Sobran
 FGF E-Package “Reactionary Utopian” Columns 
  Wanderer column (“Washington Watch”) 
 Essays and Articles | Biography of Joe Sobran | Sobran’s Cynosure 
 The Shakespeare Library | The Hive
 WebLinks | Books by Joe 
 Subscribe to Joe Sobran’s Columns 

Other FGF E-Package Columns and Articles
 Sam Francis Classics | Paul Gottfried, “The Ornery Observer” 
 Mark Wegierski, “View from the North” 
 Chilton Williamson Jr., “At a Distance” 
 Kevin Lamb, “Lamb amongst Wolves” 
 Subscribe to the FGF E-Package 

Products and Gift Ideas
Back to the home page 


SOBRANS and Joe Sobran’s columns are available by subscription. Details are available on-line; or call 800-513-5053; or write Fran Griffin.

Reprinted with permission
This page is copyright © 2004 by The Vere Company
and may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of The Vere Company.