God is Not a Louisville Slugger

William Neff

Media Writing

Monday, March 3, 2009

Outside Writing assignment







God is Not a Louisville Slugger


Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts painted a vivid picture of a “Christian conservative right” that “rode rough shot over the nation.”


Leonard Pitts is a Christian, who believes that his religion is being hijacked by the conservative right. Pitts thinks that the right is wielding god like a bludgeon in a Machiavellian plot to accomplish conservative ends.

Today at 7:30 p.m. Leonard Pitts gave a keynote speech that wrapped up the daylong conference being help on the Elon University campus, titled “Faith, Doubt and the Media.” Pitts, is a Pulitzer Prize winner who has become famous for his social commentary columns usually focused on religion, and his ‘direct’ conversations with god, in which he writes a comical satire between himself and god. “God and I were playing our weekly game of hoops… Not many people know this, but god is unstoppable in the post.” Pitts wrote in one of his columns.

Despite the obvious humor in his writing, Pitts is a very spiritual man who is deeply concerned with the direction that his religion is heading in. He fears that being ‘Christian’ dose not mean what it used to. “Am I a Christian?” Pitts asked of himself, “ The answer to that question used to mean that you believed in Christ, but that was before the rise of the fundamentalists, before the Christian right began creeping like shadows. By their definition, to be Christian meant one who follows Bush and Rush Limbaugh, someone who cuts taxes for the rich and denounces gay and lesbians, and who only accepts those who look like they were from Beaver Cleavers neighborhood.”

Pitts explained how so many stances taken by conservative Christians are in direct disagreement with what Pitts believes are the fundamentals of the true Christian faith. He explained how people like Rush Limbaugh have used god as a weapon to further their right political agenda, and how his own columns were a response to this, as Pitts attempted to fight the weapon of god that the right had evoked.

The conservative version of god is a strict and unforgiving dictator; whose law is to be carried out just as it is written. Pitts summed up the conservative god neatly with this quote, “God votes straight republican, and never misses the Rush Limbaugh show, and how dare you in vision him any other way.” But Pitts believes in a kinder god, who cannot be understood or shaped by humans. Pitts explained that he believes it is impossible for a human to comprehend god, as we are mortal. “Morality by definition, cannot comprehend the infinite.” Said Pitts.

In the closeting minutes of his speech, Pitts echoed the overall tone of his speech, “God is not a republican!” said Pitts, but then he brought his thinking full circle an pushed the audience in a new direction, “ God is also not a Democrat, I reject this idea that god backs any party, god is bigger than a political party.” Said Pitts. God is no ones Louisville slugger, and in Pitts’ opinion just out of human comprehension, but Pitts won’t let that keep him from playing basketball with him.


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