YOUR HUMBLE MEDIA critic came in for some media criticism over the summer. Its source: Kelly McBride, a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, the nonprofit journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times. McBride wrote on the institute’s website: “The Wall Street Journal…ran an opinion piece by editorial board member James Taranto, who argued that efforts to stop sexual assault in the military show ‘signs of becoming an effort to criminalize male sexuality’ and is [sic] a ‘war on men.’ Taranto’s view was torn asunder by critics here and here.”
The first “here” linked to a post on the feminist website Jezebel.com. The item’s author, Katie Baker, wrote: “I’m not interested in engaging with Taranto, because he’s a cockroach.” The second went to a response to my piece by Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, whom I had faulted for placing a “permanent hold” on the promotion of General Susan Helms. The general had reversed the court-martial sexual assault conviction of an officer under her command, and McCaskill aimed to retaliate.
Jeremy Lott’s recent article (“Stranger in a Mormon Land,” TAS, July-August 2013) is certainly thought-provoking, but not always thoughtful. The only “keeper” was the insight describing how a Jew might think and feel when attending a Christian church for the first time. The remainder of the article is not terribly informed and makes the too-common mistake of focusing on differences instead of similarities among religions. (It is bad enough we hear so much Mormon-bashing in the dominant media; I expect more from a writer for one of my favorite magazines.)
It is not quite clear what we are to make of your response to the Mormon who said, “If you pray about this….” The flippant “Yeah, I’ll get right on that,” is downright disrespectful, if not arrogant (surely arrogance is not a typical characteristic of Catholics?). Your other “theological brickbats” don’t serve a useful purpose either.
Can only one of the Christian sects be right? Of the five major world religions—Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism—can only one be right, or even worse (as some atheists contend viewing the plethora of beliefs), are none?