A Level of Pettiness So Extreme It Has Its Own Gravitational Pull

In his inaugural address, Obama described the US as “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non believers.”

The Zionist Organization of American objects because they think Jews should have been listed before Muslims.

Curtsy: Matthew Yglesias.

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14 Responses to A Level of Pettiness So Extreme It Has Its Own Gravitational Pull

  1. 1
    Jake Squid says:

    When your organization complains about its placement in a list, it’s probably time to pack it up and go home.

    Groucho Marx makes more and more sense to me.

  2. 2
    FilthyGrandeur says:

    wow…so, now we’re ranking religions, or arguing for the rankings?

  3. 3
    nonskanse says:

    I demand non-believers be first! In the name of science!

    Seriously… Gah.

  4. 4
    Sailorman says:


    On the one hand, it’s a list. No big deal.

    On the other hand, Jews usually occupy second place in that list (although they are less numerous than are people with no religion), so to move them can be viewed as making some sort of statement.

  5. Oy! I don’t know what else to say. Just oy!

  6. 6
    chingona says:

    I suppose he could have gone in alphabetical order, but then the Jews would have been behind the Hindus.

  7. 7
    Myca says:

    I think you’re all missing the point. This isn’t bad, it’s awesome.

    Think about it. The criticisms have gone from, “Barack Obama associates with notorious [and mythical] anti-Semites” and “The election of Barack Obama will mean the death of Israel” to “he didn’t list a bunch of religions in precisely the order I would prefer.”

    I look at that kind of reach as a positive thing! I mean, if that’s all they’ve got, he’s doing okay, you know?

    It’s like, there’s a reason I never took the time to criticize President Bush’s choice of shoes. It’s because he was Satan, and I didn’t care what kind of loafers he put his hooves in each morning. There were bigger things to discuss.

    Here, there just aren’t.


  8. 8
    Ampersand says:

    I don’t know, Myca — there are also some more policy-oriented objections. Did you see that the ADL’s Foxman has objections to fairness?

    Some Jewish leaders say the very qualities that may appeal to the Obama administration — Mitchell’s reputation as an honest broker — could spark unhappiness, if not outright opposition, from some pro-Israel groups.

    “Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support.

    “So I’m concerned,” Foxman continued. “I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.”

    I’m not sure whether to be horrified or to commend his honesty.

  9. 9
    FilthyGrandeur says:

    excellent point myca. plus, i laughed hysterically from your phrase “put his hooves in.” lol.

  10. 10
    Dianne says:

    What about the Buddhists, Shintos, Zorosastrians, Pagans, etc? Shouldn’t they be more put out to be left out altogether?

  11. 11
    Susan says:

    Myca rocks, I’m still laughing about the hooves!!

  12. 12
    Mandolin says:

    Sailorman’s right: there is a statement here. The statement isn’t “Jews aren’t important,” though — it’s “We need to remember that there are American Muslims and they are as important and worthy of dignity and recognition as any other religion I’m listing.”

    I actually think the list order is deft, and I applaud it (although I would have preferred Obama to say “as well as a spectrum of other beliefs” or something like that to include Pagans, Zoroastrians, etc.)

  13. 13
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    I thought “Jews and Hindus” was put together like that, because it made a purty rhyme. :)

  14. 14
    Kristin says:

    Good grief. I was just thrilled he menti0ned UNbelievers AT ALL, never mind the order.