Al Sharpton and the Temple of Doom

Because you all are saturated with information on a daily basis, I have made a point of hardly ever writing about news, politics, or current events. Those things don't interest me anyway. If it's not happening in between the pages of magazines at the grocery store checkout, then I don't really give a shit. I don't buy into the whole idea of being a well-informed citizen. Believe me, I know well-informed citizens, and some of them are idiots.

But I am rather fascinated with the whole Al Sharpton/Mitt Romney/Christopher Hitchens controversy (created and perpetuated by The Media). As crazy as Al Sharpton can be, he's extremely entertaining, and I think his comments about Romney and the Mormons (suggesting that real believers in god would defeat Romney's bid for the presidency) have been taken so far out of context that it's ridiculous. Sharpton said what he said at the New York Public Library during a religion vs. atheism debate with Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. (As you can see, Hitchens is as much of an unabashed provocateur and attention-whore as Sharpton is.)

Sharpton's jibe was an attempt at a humorous response to Christopher Hitchens earlier comments about how up until 1965 blacks were considered "lesser" than other races, according to the Mormon religion's articles of faith. Now the whole thing's been blown out of proportion, Sharpton is being called a bigot, and Hitchens gets off scot-free. (It must be the English accent—Brits get away with anything, as long as they lay on that linguistic charm.)

Anyway, here's Al Sharpton defending himself on CNN:

And here's Christopher Hitchens adding fuel to the fire:

All I know is that any religion that is overtly racist for 135 years out of its 177 years of existence needs some time to breathe and room to grow. Come back and talk to me after racism is less than 5o percent of your religion's history. (With apologies to my many Mormon friends. You know I love you.)

—Reporting From Glendale, California

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