San Diego Soliloquies

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

On Protesting Too Much

New Texan Rod Dreher is a bit touchy when it comes to sad truths about his new fellow-staters. Apparently David Macaulay, author of Castle, Cathedral, and other excellent books about The Way Things Work has a new book, Mosque. (If you haven't read Macaulay's books, and most especially if your kids haven't, you need to get them. Start with Castle.)

Macaulay's newest is no doubt a challenging topic now. A New York Times article, describes the book as:

    ... almost assiduously apolitical. There is little mention of the Ottoman campaigns of conquest or sultans who murdered their brothers to cling to power. The Islamic pilgrimage is mentioned; the concept of jihad is not.
    Mr. Macaulay said he wanted the book to seem as if it had been written 20 years ago. To bring up these topics, he said, would have been too much of a departure.
    "You can always find the fringe element, the guys making a bomb behind the mosque," he said. "You can find the same fringe element behind a right-wing church in Texas. But if you stick to the architecture, what it says about human desire and capability is universal, the desire to extend yourself beyond this life.

Mr Dreher, new convert to Texas, new convert to Catholicism, not new to ignorance responds:

    Ah yes, all those Baptist madrassas in the piney woods down here are turning out suicide bombers by the bushel. I tell you, we live in constant fear down here in Dallas that an Assemblies of God zealot from the outskirts of Midland is going to blow Neiman Marcus sky-high. What guilty-liberal rot from Macaulay. He should be ashamed of himself.

Apparently Mr. Dreher got to Texas too late to hear about David Koresh and is unfamiliar with the usage of "a" to denote a singular instance. Though maybe Rod reveals too much in assuming that liberals are afraid of "an Assemblies of God zealot from the outskirts of Midland". Tell me Rod, should we be? Is there another one out there?

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