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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

There's no apocalypse here

On the one hand we have Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, writing a letter of imminent doom to Pat Robertson, a purveyor of dubious theology. Six years of Obama have pushed Lotz and the white Southern evangelicals whom she influences, 90% of whom voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney, over the edge.

On the other hand we have the "War on Women" interpretation of the Hobby Lobby opinion. I understand the fervor of the reaction, given how thoroughly the presidency of George W. Bush — which, in effect, continues at the Supreme Court — was despised by many. I didn't care for it, myself. But The Atlantic, hardly a mouthpiece of conservative thought, dismisses the War on Women interpretation as hyperbolic.

Lotz is not the first person to announce the apocalypse or to deem herself infallible and uniquely qualified as the announcer; she won't be the last. The Supreme Court is not infallible, either; its justices come and go, and despite stare decisis anything they do can be undone.

My message to both the left and the right: our country did not go to rot during the Bush presidency. Nor is our country going to rot during the Obama presidency. Lighten up, please. If we attenuate our rhetoric, we will have a better-governed nation. I don't know what the endgame of ongoing polarization will be, but it can't be good. Learn how to make one's point without castigating or consigning to Hell those who disagree.