The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

2007 July

Lip Service

July 24, 2007 | 10 Comments

CNN selected an atheist as one of the YouTubers permitted to question the Democratic candidates last night. Should he fear that a Democratic administration would snub secular voters but “pay lip service to the extremely religious?” Literally understood, of course, the question asks whether the candidates intend to ignore believers as much as non-believers. CNN, regrettably, did not pick up on the misuse of “lip service,” aggravating matters by emblazoning the question across screen as if it made perfect sense. They even put “lip service” in quotes, seemingly to emphasize the audicity of favoring anybody with it. As you can see from the link, WashingtonPost.com also thinks it’s something closer to kissing than kissing off.

John Edwards and Barack Obama, who answered, probably knew better. (I know Hillary does, as she used the phrase correctly in this 2005 speech which coincidentally criticized the devout and the godless for giving lip service to religious liberty). But they didn’t correct the atheist, instead choosing to pay lip service to the question. I think it’s clear enough from their responses, though, that they’ll treat all faiths to the same lip service they pay their own.

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