“Maureen Dowd is on vacation” says the notice at the bottom of the op-ed page of today’s New York Times. (Lent discourages any unseemly display of joy!).
In Maureen’s little pond Stanley Fish swims this month. Professor Fish has an engaging column today entitled, “Religion without Truth.” No poaching on this pond, however: it is available only to subscribers to Times Select.
Fish comments on Time Magazine’s cover story about teaching the Bible in the schools. To appease the multi-culturalists assurances are given, in the story, that the Bible will be taught simply as a secular text, with truth claims securely bracketed.
The cantankerous Fish will have none of that. He comments: “The truth claims of a religion — at least of religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam — are not incidental to its identity; they are its identity.”
And he concludes with a splash: “Teaching the Bible in that spirit may succeed in avoiding the dangers of proselytizing and indoctrination. But if you’re going to cut the heart out of something, why teach it at all?”
If that last bears some slight resemblance to the thought of the current occupant of the Chair of Peter, perhaps Ms Dowd could be persuaded to prolong her vacation, and the editors of the newspaper of record might try to land an even bigger Fish.