But the rest of Putz's response is telling:
The problem with the term "Christianist" isn't that it adds "ist" to the end of a religion. It's that, by parallelling "Islamist," it is a deliberate attempt at conflating people who oppose gay marriage -- or, apparently, Madonna's schlocky posturing -- with people who blow up discos and mosques, and throw gay people off of walls. That's the kind of execrable moral equivalence engaged in by the Soviets and their proxies, and it's the sort of thing that Andrew Sullivan used to oppose eloquently, before he started to engage in it himself.This is, of course, a flimsy strawman. Neither Sullivan nor Greenwald have ever suggested any equivalence of the sort. In fact, Sullivan, who coined the term, says exactly the opposite.
So let me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike.So to Sullivan, not even the term "Islamists" suggests violence. Why would Putz so blatantly distort his position, to the point of lying about it?
There are two things going on here. One, Putz is projecting his own bigotry on Sullivan, since he throws the word "Islamist" around with abandon, while decrying those who use the word "Christianist." To Putz, all Islamists are by definition violent nuts who blow up discos. Two, Putz cannot debate Sullivan on the merits because he'd have to then deal honestly with the serious criticisms of his beloved GOP -- he must maintain the illusion that Terri Schiavo and the GOP's love affair with intelligent design and the theocratic Texas GOP and Bush's stem cell veto are all unrelated, random tidbits, which are blown out of proportion by bigots like Sullivan.
It's not pretty to watch.