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Why Sacha Baron Cohen matters

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen as character Col. Erran Morad on his new Showtime series “Who Is America?”. Image courtesy Showtime

OK, I admit it: I am a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen.

I love his humor, his satire, and his way of exposing the small and large idiocies of people. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a proud and affirming Jew: the product of a Zionist youth movement in Great Britain, with a distinguished and well-accomplished family, and a man who speaks Hebrew.

I love the personae that he first revealed to us on HBO’s “Da Ali G Show.”

  • Borat, the naive but well-meaning journalist from Kazakhstan.
  • Bruno, the gay Austrian fashionista.
  • And, of course, Ali G himself — the faux gangsta interviewer, who weaponized his own ignorance.

My favorite moment: when he interviewed the late author, Gore Vidal, he confuses him with Vidal Sassoon.

To which the now embarrassed Ali G responded: “These next few questions might not make much sense, then…” – and then goes on to ask him which First Lady’s hair he would want to cut.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s stock in trade is duping people — of all stripes, but in particular, politicians — and getting them to say stupid things — albeit things that they would have said anyway.

In this sense, he reveals the horrible soft white underbelly of America, stripping away our pretensions and showing how quickly and easily we can be seduced into bigotry. Recall how Borat got a bunch of people in an Arizona bar to sing along with “Throw The Jew Down The Well!”

In his new Showtime special, “Who is America?”  Cohen creates a few new alter egos – but in particular, an Israeli anti-terror expert, Col. Erran Morad.

In the first episode, Col. Morad convinces right-wing gun rights supporters to endorse his new idea — not only arming school teachers, and young students, but toddlers as well. It’s the kinderguardians.

Because at that age, Morad says, they would be too young to have developed either fear, nor a conscience.

Yes – Col. Morad/SBC really does get politicians to sign onto this loony and lethal agenda.

It is dark humor at its best — not least of all because it is really not funny at all. The politicians in that sketch really do believe — or, allow themselves to be manipulated into saying — that there should be no age limitations for the exercise of the Second Amendment.

In a subsequent episode, Col. Morad interviews former Vice President Dick Cheney (he pronounces the ch as in challah), and together they wax eloquently about their favorite forms of torture (they both have a soft spot for water boarding).

I howled with laughter — which then morphed into deep fear (as in: is this what our country is coming to?) — which then morphed into my usual head-scratching shtick.

Cohen is presenting his viewers with a classic stereotype — the macho Israeli Jew.

It has a venerable history. Zionism was a re-masculinization of the Jew. Jews, who had been powerless for centuries, could re-assert themselves on the stage of history.

The Zionist thinker, Max Nordau, believed in a muscular Judaism that would shatter the image of the ghetto Jew. In the words of the old Saturday Night Live skit, Zionism was Hans and Franz saying to the Jews: “Ve vant to pump you up!”

American Jews found inspiration in that image.

Check out the classic movie “Exodus,” which taught us that Israelis look like Paul Newman — or, they should.

Check out, as well, the deliberate subversion of “Exodus” — “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan,” in which Adam Sandler plays a superhuman Israeli counter-terrorist, who ditches it all to become a hairdresser in Brooklyn.

So, yes: we get the joke.

But, what is not a joke is the perception that Israel has, more and more, tethered itself to American right-wing politics.

The perception is not without cause; witness what has been happening in both Israel and in the United States in recent times.

I mean the growth of a dark nationalism that seems to have less and less room for the Other. It is now a cliché: Israel is a red state; American Jews are a blue state.

As Israel becomes redder, the more American Jews will experience an emotional and political disconnect from the Jewish state. Not because they are anti-Zionists, or because they are “self-hating Jews,” but because they will no longer sense that their values have much currency in Israel. At best (and let us hope so), they will align themselves with those forces in Israeli society that do, in fact, mirror their most cherished beliefs.

But, there is another problem with Col. Morad.

In my many discussions with my Israeli friends, the conversation inevitably turned to American politics. Left, center, right: Israelis expressed horror at America’s ubiquitous gun culture.

Understand: many Israeli homes have firearms within them, because Israelis serve in the IDF, and then in reserves. Ever wonder why there have been no mass shootings in Israel? Perhaps because, paradoxically, the gun is so close at hand. Perhaps because Israelis understand that the gun is for national defense.

Perhaps, also, because Israel sharply limits and constrains non-military access to guns. It is very difficult to get a gun permit in Israel — and when you do get one, there are numerous requirements, such as mandated safety training.

And so, Col. Morad is a stereotype of Israeli military macho.

But, as far as guns is concerned, he represents a viewpoint that simply doesn’t exist in Israel — the free-flowing availability of guns.

Sacha Baron Cohen is portraying a distorted view of Israel and Israelis. In this political environment, it is not helpful.

Nevertheless, I still have to laugh. In the most recent episode, Col. Morad interviews Georgia state representative Jason Spencer. As easily as Borat got the denizens of the Arizona bar to sing an anti-Semitic song, Morad inspires Spencer into making Islamophobic remarks — even to the point of calling Arabs “sand n—-ers” and, well, you’ll have to watch the show.

Spencer is now in deep political trouble.

As he should be.

Sacha Baron Cohen has pulled back the curtain on American political culture.

If we don’t like what we see, it is in our power to change it.







About the author

Jeffrey Salkin

Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin is the spiritual leader of Temple Solel in Hollywood, Fla., and the author of numerous books on Jewish spirituality and ethics, published by Jewish Lights Publishing and Jewish Publication Society.

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  • He reveals the horrible soft white underbelly of America, stripping away our pretensions and showing how quickly and easily we can be seduced into bigotry.

    Nailed it! That is Cohen’s M.O. in a nutshell. And that is why some people get seduced into revealing their ugly inner selves while others, like Ted Koppel on a recent episode of “Who is America?” don’t get snagged by Cohen at all. Koppel simply said, “With all due respect, this interview is a waste of my time,” after which he politely excused himself. Others, like Sarah Palin, reveal who they really are deep down for all the world to see. It’s their unmasking they don’t like, which is why Palin went on a whining spree after she had made a fool of herself on national television, again. Needless to say, I have no sympathy for her, Dick Cheney, or the Georgia Republican who bared his fat white posterior while screaming “USA, USA!,” at all. They all deserve everything that’s coming to them. Meanwhile, Ted Koppel just chuckles to himself.

  • Elgabalus, a few days ago, you wrote as follows:

    Did you really have to write “Caucasian Americans?” Couldn’t just plain “Americans” have sufficed? But you did write it, didn’t you? Which begs the question: why?

    Now, it is my turn to ask you a question.

    In this thread, you are not questioning the use of the phrase “horrible soft white underbelly”—a phrase that passes judgment on an entire demographic community, namely, Caucasians.

    However, in the question you posed me, you reacted to my writing “Caucasian Americans”, instead of just “Americans.” By way of context, I had pointed out that Caucasian Americans could find themselves vulnerable, could find themselves lacking agency. And Muslim Americans could be the ones providing help. (That is to say, Muslim Americans could also be liberals, could also practice civic tolerance.) In reaction to what I wrote, you posed the question above.

    This is a contradiction. If a demographic community can be described as having a horrible underbelly, they can also be described as being vulnerable, as lacking agency. It is one-sided to say that they can only have a horrible underbelly, but cannot be vulnerable or lacking agency.

    I have my own theory why this contradiction exists, but I would be glad to know your theory.

  • Great column, Rabbi.

    Aren’t Spencer…

    Let’s look at him, just for fun. From The Hill

    A Georgia lawmaker is facing calls to resign after footage of him yelling racial slurs and exposing himself aired on Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show Sunday night. In the latest episode of “Who Is America?,” the comedian plays Israeli military expert Erran Morad, and enlists state Rep. Jason Spencer (R) to film an “anti-terrorism video.” In the video, Spencer repeatedly shouts the “N-word” after Cohen tells him that using the “forbidden” word will help ward off terrorists. In another clip, Spencer pulls down his pants and chases Cohen with his buttocks exposed, yelling “USA, Motherf—er!”

    Spencer said, “They exploited my state of mind […] this […] is exactly why President Donald Trump was elected.”

    Yep. that is exactly why. The gullibility necessary to believe the racial epithets forbidden in polite company will protect you from terrorists is the same gullibility necessary to give a lying, fornicating, adulterous reality “Star” nuclear weapons. Cohen didn’t force him to do anything and if, as he says, he took advantage of Spencer’s fears and worldview, then that’s just admitting this is exactly how he “thinks”.

  • English isn’t your first language, obviously.

    Soft white underbelly has nothing to do with race. “The phrase “soft white underbelly” describes the anatomy of a broad spectrum of animals ranging from sharks to amphibians to birds and even some mammals. Why is the most notorious biological vulnerability on Earth so ubiquitous?

    Pale underbellies are most often found among animals that need to worry about danger from below. Creatures that swim, fly, or climb may blend into the background water or sky above if their bellies are light. Animals can also benefit from a camouflage concept called countershading. By having darker pigment on the part of the body that receives the most light and lighter pigmentation on the part that receives less light, the animal’s appearance tends to flatten out and is less conspicuous.

    But what explains the softness?

    One might think that the basic skeletal design of vertebrates has always neglected to protect abdomens—the rib cage covers the chest and opens up around the belly in most familiar species. But this was not always so. Many prehistoric animals had a group of protective bones called gastralia that covered their bellies like a second set of ribs. Gastralia provided not only some measure of physical protection but also attachment points for abdominal muscles and other tissue.”

  • Now let’s see: if I recall correctly (since you didn’t offer me the courtesy of providing the context of your exact comment) I believe you said something to the effect of politicians (Democratic ones, presumably) addressing the needs of ordinary working-class Caucasian people. My response was based on the belief that the needs of working-class people are arguably the same regardless of their skin color and asked why you felt the need to insert race into it. In the case of my comment above, I was merely being descriptive regarding a person who was behaving like a jackass and I would have happily been just as descriptive if the shade of his fat posterior had been caramel-colored, red, black, yellow, or any shade in between. As for the soft white underbelly thing, Ben in Oakland has already addressed that.

  • I’m okay with much of Sacha Baron Cohen’s satire, and anybody in the public eye is fair game as far as I’m concerned. But I’m not a fan of going after ordinary people. Sure, low-hanging fruit is easy to find, but there’s a basic decency issue here. The kind of bare knuckles public humiliation Cohen deals in messes with people’s lives.

  • Last weekend’s bit with former VP Cheney was a bit on the disquieting side.

    It appeared that either

    1) Cheney was in on the joke and rolling with Baron Cohen’s role of torture and waterboarding enthusiast without a hint of irony

    2) Such a sociopath that he didn’t care about the optics and was proud of being evil.

  • The Cheney segment was kind of weird. Cheney’s segment was far more canny than the State Senator. It came close to the impression the former VP was in on the joke and rolling with it.

  • Things like goodness, kindness, and self control can’t always be described as niceness in a world of fear with real threats. Take the Cohen Spencer bit and what it exposed as an example.

    I’m going with number one.

  • Sorry to disagree with you (again) but what you call “ordinary people” comprise the electorate in this country. They’re the ones who elected Donald Trump (with lots of help from Vladimir Putin.) In my estimation that makes them fair game for Cohen’s brand of comical humiliation.

  • I know you and I disagree on this, but I see nothing to be gained by demonizing rank and file Trump voters. I’m not talking about ring leaders and those capitalizing on the climate of bigotry, but the rest who could be swung away from him if dealt with properly.

    I know many of these people and they aren’t villains. They’re frightened people who see their world changing faster than they can keep up with and they’ve been sold a bill of goods by a demagogue. Yes, they’re largely uneducated and unsophisticated, and that makes them easy pickings for the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, but at a pretty high cost in human dignity.

    The downward spiral of unkindness and contempt doesn’t produce anything of lasting value. It only makes people on both sides hunker down that much more into self-righteous victimhood. I’d like to see that change.

  • Yes, they’re largely uneducated and unsophisticated, and that makes them easy pickings for the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, but at a pretty high cost in human dignity.

    Sorry to disagree with you yet again, but as a gay person I feel no sympathy for the majority of Trump voters at all. It’s not because they’re “uneducated and unsophisticated” (many are well educated and quite sophisticated.) It’s because they’re downright bigoted against black people, brown people, and people like me who are gay. So what you see as “frightened people who see their world changing faster than they can keep up with,” I see as mean, selfish, vindictive people who totally lack tolerance for anyone they perceive as different from them in any way. And for that reason I give them not an ounce of sympathy. Rather, I hold them accountable, and so should you.

  • As much as I appreciate other people deciding what I should do, I think I’ll choose for myself. Until next time, E. Peace.

  • I was about to add that the “economic anxiety” that supposedly motivated Trump voters was also revealed to be a myth. According to a Washington Post article a while back, “a third of Trump supporters had household incomes at or below the national median of about $50,000. Another third made $50,000 to $100,000, and another third made $100,000 or more and that was true even when we limited the analysis to only non-Hispanic whites. If being working class means being in the bottom half of the income distribution, the vast majority of Trump supporters during the primaries were not working class.”

    So you can’t even talk about Trump voters as being largely poor, because it wasn’t true on Election Day 2016 and it isn’t true now. Peace back at you.

  • I agree. The idea should be to entice Trump voters to follow a different political path which will be better for both them and the country. That’s not going to happen if you mock someone’s intelligence. There are millions of people who have lost out to machines, robot, automation and outsourcing overseas during the past few decades and want to try something different. They have real and legitimate concerns. Real wages have been largely frozen since 1999 if not longer. Trump/Bannon — with Russian help — have been able to capture many of these voters by appealing to their fears and nativism. We need to be smarter.

  • Having read so many hyper conservatives on these very pages, i think I’ll take both.

  • If one is willing to support an admitted sexual predator, white supremacist, swindler and compulsive liar for the highest office in the nation, appeals to reason, decency and sanity are mostly pointless.

    The last election had extremely low turnout and disinterest. Rather than trying to be nice to those who are too far gone to act like normal human beings, better to appeal to those who were not so enthusiastic last time.

    Civility only helps the cretinous who have no use for such niceties. Confrontation and division are not to be feared in a democracy. They are necessary. People should be outraged over most of the garbage pulled by the current administration. Those who supported it deserve to be called out over it. The willfully ignorant and bigoted do not deserve genteel polite discussion, but social sanction.

  • Which is why, when Maxine Waters started talking insane, her supporters felt like she was giving them permission to publicly burn the US Flag outside of her office. Who needs civility anyway?

    (Of course, having recently received a fake letter addressed to “Anne Thrax”, maybe Waters will finally obtain some common sense. Civility is best for ALL sides — even the Alt-Left Kool-Aid gang.)

  • Just when you think you’ll never find someone who still supports Jason Spencer…

  • In theory, I don’t disagree with what you were saying. But nevertheless, I disagree with it.

    Two days ago, there was a letter in the San Francisco Chronicle from a Trump supporter. She proudly announced that after eight years of Obama, the economy was in the toilet until Trump came around. Of course, when Obama became president, the entire world was in a recession caused by American financial irresponsibility. Obama led us back from the brink, and handed the robust growing economy to Trump. Trump had nothing to do with any of it. How do you have a discussion with someone who is so divorced from reality?

    Today, NRA tv host Grant Stinchfield has this to say: “This is a president who said, remember, grab them by them by the P. Caught on tape saying that. He says he’s going to walk down on Fifth avenue and shoot somebody in the head and he’d get away with it. He’s got the Stormy Daniels thing, and you know what? Nobody gives a rat’s ass about any of it. The reason being is, America is finally on track again. And so we are doing great things being led by this president, nobody cares about all of that stuff. “It’s like Donald Trump was covered in mud coming into all of this. You throw more mud on him, it doesn’t make a difference. But if he had a white dress on, you throw one piece of mud, it ruins the whole dress. Donald Trump was already covered in mud, it doesn’t matter.” How do you have a discussion with someone who is most likely outraged by Bill Clinton’s free BJ, but totally indifferent to that super duper businessman paying $130000 for one, indifferent to sexual assault ,lies, and possibly treason, if the Russian confluence is proved? For myself, I often wonder about how weak a trump supporter must feel if he or she looks at trump and sees strength.

    I don’t have any answers to these questions, but I do have the questions.

  • I don’t think it’s true that most people don’t care about Trump’s behavior. I think they’re overwhelmed by it, perhaps fatigued by it. When you’re caught in a hailstorm you can’t focus on any one hailstone. All you can think about is getting to shelter.

    I really believe that, rightly or wrongly, the 2016 election was more about Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. I think the Democrats underestimated just how unpopular she is with the American electorate. The cold hard fact is, even though she edged him out in the popular vote, Clinton lost the Electoral College to the most loathsome, undesirable GOP candidate in history. Think about that.

    Trump’s opponents have been playing it all wrong since the election. They were so angry and repulsed that they adopted his negative tactics to try to oppose him. Trump used that to his advantage and portrayed himself as a victim, which fired up his base even more. Nobody else can play Trump’s game and win. Get down in the gutter with somebody who lives there and you’re going to lose every time.

    All Sacha Baron Cohen is doing is reinforcing the impression many on the right already have of the entertainment establishment as left-leaning elitists. His antics will get approval from those who already agree with him, but they won’t win any converts.

    Trump is beatable if we have the courage to stick to the high road. I promise you he is.

  • Ah, the high road.

    Civility, stiff upper lip, high tea, and all that.

    Trump won in 2016 because free stuff is not enough, and Hillary Clinton was simply horrific.

    Unless the DNC plugs into the electorate and changes on key issues like abortion and LBGT, 2020 will not improve.

  • As soon as your wrote “According to a Washington Post article” you lost that argument.

  • I’d like to live to be 100, a free Mercedes, and a trip around the world for free.

    Meanwhile in reality ….

  • Isn’t a “hyper conservative” an observant Jew or Christian in your parlance?

    Why would anyone go to “Religion News Service” and be surprised to find observant Jews or Christians?

  • Would it be OK if I converted a few of your comments onn this thread into a stand-alone article for publication on my website?

    There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for Writer Beat and liked what you wrote. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. You can learn more about the site by checking out my profile (my email and the website address are there…Disqus won’t allow that info in comment threads) or just reply “sure” and I’ll handle the rest.

  • Please feel free, subject to the proviso that you quote me accurately?, correct my typos that I missed?, and don’t make me look like either One Particular Commenter Herein and/or the illegitimate offspring of adolf hitler and Jerry Falwell?, (which may be redundant in his case).

    A link when you do it would be much appreciated. Thanks for the compliment.

  • I think Disqus blocked my effort to thank you and send you a link. Articles are sorted by recent recommendations and your article is currently in the #9 spot. However, between now and when you read this message, it may move around a bit. If you wish to engage your commenters (presently you have 3 comments ), send me an email and I will reply back with confidential access info.

    email: AutumnCote at WriterBeat com

  • A rather interesting excursion over there. Thank you…I guess?

    I went to the website, and found exactly what I find here, and in so many other places. More of the same right wing contempt and rage at anyone who is not them. Comments that sound authoritative when it comes to economics— I wouldn’t know, because I’m not an economist—but merely camouflage more of the same right wing contempt and rage. My favorite was the guy who blamed Bush’s recession on President Carter, ignoring the savings and loan crisis of Reagan, and the massive deficits that have always been a part of Republican “Party of Fiscal Responsibility” Governance since that fiasco. Libertarian claptrap, disguised as freedom freedom freedom.

    I’m sure this is somewhat their goal– wear everyone out with the temper tantrums. We certainly have a few of those here. I don’t think I’ll be wandering back over there, though.

    Thanks again.

  • I ain’t commenting on this “excursion”. But I am permitting myself a slight smile or two. Maybe I’ll check out this other site, someday.

  • I almost forgot, if you wish to engage your commenters, please use the following access credentials:

    email: oakland at writerbeat com
    password: writerbeat

  • It looks like my post has been removed. As I indicated, I wouldn’t be going back to further experience all of that love, righteousness, and authoritative discourse

    What is very interesting to me, though, is this. It pretty much illustrates EXACTLY the point of the comments of mine that you posted, and the right winger’s respnse to them. The responders were going on and on about how horrible everything was economically under Mr. Obama, and how Jabba the Trump’s economy was the antidote to all of that, and how everything was now ducky and only going to get better. Again, I’m not an economist, and there is a reason it’s called “the dismal science”.

    From the associated press TODAY:

    “The U.S. economy surged in the April-June quarter to an annual growth rate of 4.1 percent. That’s the fastest pace since 2014, driven by consumers who began spending their tax cuts and exporters who rushed to get their products delivered ahead of retaliatory tariffs. The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, posted its best showing since a 4.9 percent gain in the third quarter of 2014. President Donald Trump is predicting growth will accelerate under his economic policies. But private forecasters cautioned that the April-June pace is unsustainable because it stems from temporary factors. The rest of the year is likely to see good, but slower growth of around 3 percent.”

    Jabba the Trump’s economic policies are so sterling that he even managed to post gains when OBAMA was president. Quite an accomplishment, and something overlooked by those right wingers responding to my posting. As they did with this: strong 4.1% growth under Trump in Q2 of 2018 would rank as 5th strongest Quarter of Obama’s presidency.

    —5.1% Q2 2014
    —4.9% Q3 2014
    —4.7% Q4 2011
    —4.5% Q4 2009.

    So how do you argue facts with people who are so opposed to them? They were all claiming the wonders of the trumpian economy, and the dismalness of the Obama economy. But TRUMP’s commerce department contradicts that. “But private forecasters cautioned that the April-June pace is unsustainable because it stems from temporary factors.” That’s from the article. It’s all being funded with EVEN MORE borrowed money. What could possibly go wrong? I know! The quote from the commerce department indicated the problem: people spending the tax cuts they haven’t actually received, and manufacturers trying to get Their products out and sold BEFORE the retaliatory tariffs kick in, and demand crashes.

    Again, I’m not an economist. Sociology, especially social social psychology, was my academic expertise. And that tells me, from the responses to whatyou posted for me, that RAGE is the primary motivator for those right wingers. Facts certainly are not.

    Thanks again, though.

  • Actually, the party stops when your kind show up, Your Homophobic Blackness.

    How many black gay and trans kids did you lynch today?

  • Absolutely. I love to write. But from the responses to my comment, as well as to some others, I’m not sure there is much to gain for me by doing so at your website. There is enough right wing rage here at RNS to last me. It’s one of the reasons why I have been withdrawing slowly from commenting. I’m always interested in rational discourse. But irrational discourse doesn’t attract me. (And very shortly, right here, I’ll hear something pointless from the Usual Suspect).

    Thank you again.

  • If there is “right wing rage here”, you may find yourself the culprit.

    Although you purport to be “always interested in rational discourse”, most of your posts here have been snide ill-informed anti-religious jibes.

  • The point is that you can experience right wing rage as a commenter or as a an author. I would think you’d prefer being an author. As for the suggestion my site or Disqus is full of right wing rage, I get a relatively equal number of complaints from the left as the right. Please keep in mind, everyone is far more likely to get comments from those that disagree than agree.

  • Of course. In my life, I’ve certainly met people on the far left who as delusional as those on the far right. But these days, the far left seems to be a fiction of the far right. A pox on both their houses.

  • Here we are, one of those very rare posts of yours that happened to catch my eye before I hit “delete”. Here ya go, dear.

    Despite your consistent claims that I am anti religion, no, I’m not. It’s just a story you tell yourself.

    I’m anti YOU, and people like you. People who think like you. People who think of their faith as a club, in all senses of the word— a special club that grants them imaginary superiority, a club to use against other people..

    If I am anti religion at all, which I am not, I am just anti one more religion than you are.

    If I am anti religion at all, I am anti-authoritarian religion, anti-dominionist religion, anti-fundamentalist religion, anti child molesting and enabling religion, anti hypocrite religion, anti exploitive religion, anti “god’s BFFF” religion, anti “I’m better than you” religion, anti “religion on the warpath”.

    And if you want to talk about “snide”? got a mirror, o King and God of BobWorld? The only things you are more full of, other than crap, are yourself, snideness, and despite.

    Now, I will go back to not reading your posts, ignoring what you have to say, ignoring your obsession over me, ignoring you. I know it upsets your ego no end, but there you have it.

    I’m just not that into you.

  • You’re anti-any religion that does not happen to endorse you.

    I’m anti YOU, and people like you. People who think like you. People who think of their attraction as a club, in all senses of the word – a special club that grants them imaginary superiority, a club to use against other people they call “religionists”.

    You are anti-authoritarian in the sense no one but no one can tell YOU what to do, anti-dominionist religion in the sense that religion in the public square gives you a rash, anti-fundamentalist religion in the sense that any religion that does not endorse you is “fundamentalist”.

    You are anti child molesting and enabling religion, but since there is no religion endorsing child molesting, what that translates into is your anti any religion in which any member fails, which of course means you are against all religions.

    And if you want to talk about “snide”? get a mirror, o King and God of It’s-All-About-Me World?

    The worst part, of course, is that you appear to be trying to fool yourself.