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Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers
Pollit, Katha (1949 - )
"As Stephen Jay Gould pointed out in Time, in no other Western country is the teaching of Evolution regarded as controversial. Throughout the world, one way or another, most Christian denominations have managed to reconcile belief in God with belief in the mechanisms of natural selection. A French or German or Scandinavian politician who called for students to entertain as a reasonable deduction from existing evidence the proposition that Earth is at most 10,000 years old would be bundled off to a mental hospital."

-- Katha Pollitt


Katha Pollitt (born 1949) is an American feminist writer. She is best-known for her column "Subject to Debate" in The Nation magazine but has also published in numerous other periodicals, including The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Ms. magazine and the New York Times. In 1994, she published Reasonable Creatures: Essays on Women and Feminism, a collection of nineteen essays that appeared in The Nation and in other journals.

Most of her Nation essays from 1994 to 2001 were collected in Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics and Culture, published by Modern Library. Before she became a regular columnist for The Nation, Pollitt edited its Books & the Arts section, and won a National Book Critics Circle Award for a volume of her poetry, Antarctic Traveller, in 1983. On June 13, 2006, Random House published her book, Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time.

Much of Pollitt's writing is in defense of contemporary feminism and other forms of "identity politics," against perceived misimpressions by critics from all over the political spectrum; other frequent topics include abortion, the media, U.S. foreign policy, the politics of poverty (especially welfare reform), and human rights movements the world over. Her more controversial writings include "Not Just Bad Sex" (1993), a negative review of Katie Roiphe's The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism on Campus, and "Put Out No Flags" (2001), a Nation essay on post-9/11 America in which she explained her refusal to fly an American flag out her living room window.

Pollitt married, but later divorced, Randy Cohen, author of The New York Times Magazine column "The Ethicist." They have a daughter, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen. On April 29, 2006, Pollitt married the political theorist Steven Lukes.

Criticism
Pollitt was criticized by Bernard Goldberg, who named her number 74 in his book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, because of her 2001 essay "Put Out No Flags." Goldberg criticized what he perceived to be her lack of patriotism in the time shortly after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

Quotations

"I'm anticlerical, not antireligion. If somebody believes there is God, I'm not interested in trying to persuade that person there is no intelligent design to the universe. Where I become interested and wake up is about the temporal power of religion, things like prayer in schools, or Catholic-secular hospital mergers."

"As Stephen Jay Gould pointed out in Time, in no other Western country is the teaching of Evolution regarded as controversial. Throughout the world, one way or another, most Christian denominations have managed to reconcile belief in God with belief in the mechanisms of natural selection. A French or German or Scandinavian politician who called for students to entertain as a reasonable deduction from existing evidence the proposition that Earth is at most 10,000 years old would be bundled off to a mental hospital."

"Right now religion has the romantic aura of the forbidden -- Christ is cool. We need to bring it into the schools, which kids already hate, and associate it firmly with boredom, regulation, condescension, makework and de facto segregation ... Prayer in the schools will rid us of the bland no-offense ecumenism that is so infuriating to us anticlericals: Oh, so now you say Jews didn't kill Christ -- a little on the late side, isn't it?"

“In a better world, science teachers would teach creationism along with evolution as an exercise in critical thinking.”

 
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