Saturday, December 03, 2005

Ungodly Mistakes

As a certified member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, I have a duty to note blatant mistakes by people on my own side. Here are two examples.

Pat Boone -- yes, that Pat Boone -- has just posted an article quoting Alexis deTocqueville: "America is great because America is good. If she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." Boone added: "He was right. God help us, he was right. " Tocqueville might have been right if he had ever written such a thing, but he did not. The passage, a favorite of public figures ranging from Pat Buchanan to Bill Clinton, is bogus. A 1995 essay provides some background.

A few days ago, Bill O'Reilly discussed a teacher in a Catholic school who faced dismissal because she was pregnant and would not marry the father. A newspaper editorial had criticized the school, saying that Jesus' own mother once found herself pregnant and unwed. "Can you believe that newspaper?" O'Reilly said. "As everybody knows, Catholic theology states that Mary was a virgin and Jesus was the product of an immaculate conception." Not exactly. The Immaculate Conception is about Mary, not Jesus. It is the doctrine that she was free from original sin. One can understand a Protestant making that mistake, but O'Reilly went to Marist College, whose name derives from Mary.

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