The Times and Christians, Cont.

Kevin Drum, echoing several emailers, argues that I'm reading liberal condescension into what's actually a "painfully straightforward" Times article on Sarah Palin's church and her religious beliefs. He may be right: There's a fine line between condescension and painful literal-mindedness, and sentences like "her foundation and source of guidance is the Bible, and with it has come a conviction to be God's servant" and "Mr. Kroon ... a soft-spoken, bearded Alaska native, said he was convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, and that the task of believers is to ponder and analyze the book for meaning" could be read either as attempts to make totally banal Christian beliefs sound exotic and peculiar, or as attempts to convey, well, totally banal Christian beliefs in the most literal terms possible. On the first read, I inclined strongly toward the former interpretation, but it's quite possible that I'm letting the bizarre hysteria with which reports like this one are being greeted elsewhere on this site color my reaction to the reports themselves, and I'll try to control that impulse.