S.E. Cupp's LOSING OUR RELIGION Is An Idea Not 'Lost' On Me
Jun 6, 2010
I’ve had a bit of an ongoing debate with several friends of mine through the years about whether or not writing based in politics is its own form of art (I think it is, while they disagree). Of course, their collective opinion on writing – as a whole – is that it’s merely the act of the writer’s brain stringing together a series of words with the sole purpose of persuading the reader to adopt or accept a specific political persuasion (liberal or conservative). Of course, they’ll concede that some writers do it better than others – not much of a concession, if you ask me – but, in the end, the writing ends up serving as a ‘function’ far more than does other forms of the written word.
At a quick glance, S.E. Cupp’s LOSING OUR RELIGION kinda/sorta supports their view of political writing. Much of the time, she focuses on arguments persuasive to her main thesis: the so-called mainstream media elite have used their positions as cultural communicators to negate the positive effects that religion (or, to a greater extent, faith in God), as an institution, has had not only on the founding of the United States but also on the development of a unique American society. Media pundits have beaten Christians into submission, allowing for any expression meant in reverence to God to be categorized as ‘extreme’ or ‘fringe’ worship. Any mention of a ‘creator’ in schools has been outlawed in favor of promoting Darwinism. Public prayer is unacceptable, unless you’re a Muslim. And while Christmas trees remain part of our foreseeable future, wishing your fellow shoppers to enjoy a “Merry Christmas” has been demonized.
So, sure, Cupp’s RELIGION is persuasive, and, quite probably, she intentionally crafted her examination of the liberal media’s attach on Christianity to appeal to Christians as opposed to non-Christians. That’s what writers do: they appeal to their audience. Writing is still a business, and the publisher hopes to sell these wares to folks who would want to read what S.E. has to say … just as a member of the liberal media would write a book deconstructing these arguments with the sole purpose of appealing to his or her audience.
However, what I found surprising was my learning that S.E. is an atheist, meaning that she accepts no particular faith in God. I have seen her on several news programs (mostly on Fox News where she’s proven herself far more than a pretty face), and, if she ever announced as such there, I have to confess that I completely missed it. Despite her personal beliefs (or perhaps ‘because of them’), she’s able to still see the strength and value of living in a society where membership in the majority should be allowed to be viewed as part of the norm and NOT the exception as is portrayed by her mainstream counterparts. Despite her particular view on religion, she can see how her workplace peers are hard-at-work undermining the majority of Americans’ faith. Granted, LOSING OUR RELIGION is far more populist than political in my eyes, but I would expect no less from an author committed to exposing a particular bias that almost spits in the face of the mainstream media viewership.
Now, is THAT a work of art? Well, again, maybe some folks – friends of mine, mostly – don’t see it that way, but I do. S.E. employs a great degree of common sense, whether she’s examining academia, politicians, or even other religions. Her writing is immensely readable, entertaining, and (yeppers) persuasive. It’s a quick read that may not make believers out of non-believers, but, then again, she readily admits that even she may not agree with everything her readers do. The difference between her and the next ‘talking head’ is that she allows for her readers to have the faith and conviction to believe what they want to believe …
Do you think Keith Olbermann do that same? How about Helen Thomas? And what about Barack Obama? All three of those ‘talking heads’ claim to represent you. S.E. doesn’t, and I’m more inclined every day of the week to listen to her than I am any of the others.