Wednesday, May 14, 2014

All of the considerable affection and admiration I feel for Robinson provides the backdrop for my dismay over her recent interview with Sarah Pulliam Bailey for Religion News Service. The thoughtfulness for which Robinson is known is largely absent as she couples promotion of politically liberal values with disdainful dismissal of conservative ones. She engages here in the very mean-spirited partisanship she critiques elsewhere. While acknowledging her difficulty in understanding the mentality of 2nd Amendment defenders, her characterization of their position is reductionist, evidencing little charity by the presumption to know the motivations of her political “others.” And even worse is what appears to be gloating over her superior insight about the issues she discusses.

Regarding gay marriage, for example, she foists an intended pejorative of biblical “literalist” on those who retain a traditional view of marriage, equating through juxtaposition that stance with the stoning of witches. The generous engagement with others that she champions in earlier essays and that reverberates throughout her fiction is scarce in her dismissal of pro-lifers as “attentive to babies that don’t exist yet” and “negligent of babies that need help” through social programs. In short, she does in this interview exactly what she warns against elsewhere: she obscures the individual conservative behind general political ideology. Doing so thwarts imaginative engagement....

Read it all (my emphasis).

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