It was nice to see the New York Times commemorating Independence Day this week with a tribute to its favorite Revolutionary War hero, Benedict Arnold. Times editor Bill Keller spent the day attending Revolutionary War battle re-enactments, where he passed the Continental Army’s secret battle plans to the British.
This week I plan to reveal my own top secret information: an interview I did with the New York Post the week my current No. 1 best seller, "Godless," was released. On account of an important breaking story on Angelina Jolie’s new tattoo, the Post never found room to run the long interview I wasted my time answering for the Post’s Larry Getlen.
Once considered a legitimate daily, the Post has been reduced to tabloid status best known for Page Six’s breathless accounts of Paris Hilton’s latest ruttings, and headlines like "Vampire Teen — H.S. Girl Is Out for Blood." How crappy a newspaper is the Post? Let me put it this way: It’s New York’s second-crappiest paper.
Maybe the Post’s constant harassment of me is an attempt to shake me down for protection money like they did with billionaire businessman Ron Burkle. I have sold a LOT of books — more books, come to think of it, than any writers at the New York Post.
Here’s Part 1:
NY POST: Vitriol aside for a moment, how would you define a liberal, politically speaking?
A: Naive, misinformed fanatical Mother Earth-worshipers and fervent America-haters — and those are their good traits.
NY POST: In "Godless," you lump many views you disagree with under the banner of a liberal religion. But many Democrats (as with Republicans) disagree amongst themselves on many of these issues. Do you consider all Americans who vote Democrat to be liberals?
A: Or fools.
NY POST: How many liberals do you think there actually are in this country?
A: Way too many, but that’s just a rough estimate. You know, somewhere in the ballpark of "way too many."
NY POST: Your books, like Bill O’Reilly’s, generally go to No. 1. But so do Michael Moore’s and Al Franken’s. What do you think this says about the real nature of what Americans believe, politically and ideologically?
A: Judging by your list, that half of them are patriotic.
NY POST: In the last two presidential elections combined, the number of people who voted for the Democrat and the number who voted for the Republican were pretty close to even. Isn’t it safe to say that the country rests somewhere in the middle of conservatism and liberalism?
A: Yes, I think the results of the last "American Idol" vote pretty much proved that.
NY POST: Your characterization of liberals paints them as extremists. But with people like Pat Robertson telling us how God keeps telling him who He’s angry at, isn’t it fair to say that there are extremists on both sides?
A: Pat Robertson opposes capital punishment, opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton and supports trade with China, just for starters. Seems like a pretty mixed bag to me. So what makes you call him extreme? That he believes he has dialogue with the Lord? Do liberals now call anyone who thinks this an "extremist"?
NY POST: Do you believe there is a political middle? If so, how would you define it?
A: There is no more a "political middle" than there is a family in America with 2.3 children. People with opinions take sides. Contrary to what you’ve heard, it’s actually more important to stand for something than it is for everybody to "just get along."
NY POST: You speak in the book of "Muslims’ predilection for violence," accepting it as a given. But many would argue that many Muslims, in this country and others, lead average, everyday lives, and denounce violence. How is painting all Muslims as violent any different than looking at the Crusades, or at any of the Christian extremist groups around today, and saying, "All Christians are murderers?"
A: Quite obviously, referring to "Muslims’ predilection for violence" is not the same as saying, "All Christians are murderers." It would be the same if I had said, "All Muslims are murderers." You didn’t do too well on the analogies section of the SATs, did you?
NY POST: You say that "without a fundamental understanding of man’s place in the world" (by which you mean God), we risk being lured into, among other things, slavery. But weren’t the American slaveholders devout Christians?
A: They may have been devout Christians, but they weren’t being good Christians by holding slaves. That’s the point: Any Christian slaveholder had to violate Christianity to own slaves.
Thus — and obviously — the abolitionist movement was fueled by Christians, much as the anti-abortion movement is today.
I’m sure in the year 2106 some future Ann Coulter will be asked to explain why some Christians had abortions 100 years earlier. Christians sometimes lapse into the church of liberalism by doing bad things, just as liberals sometimes lapse into our church by doing good things.
(To be continued later this summer …)