Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thought Criminal, My Favorite Liberal Blogger

Read Thought Criminal's blog.

I'm a self-described moderate. I even leaned conservative for a while. So why do I enjoy reading a blog by someone who's so far left he considers Obama a moderate sellout? Lots of reasons.

I found him after I saw a link to an Alternet article bashing Christians. I wanted to see if anyone else thought Alternet and the like had an anti-Christian bias, and I found his blog. He totally agrees. I realized pretty fast that 1) he's very, very far left and 2) he would accept someone like me into the liberal fold. He says that the secularization of the left is the worst thing that could happen to the left. As he wrote on this post:
I have absolutely no idea who most of the people who read my blog are, I do know that several hundred people read it every week if not every day. If your accusation is correct and they're all creationists, I can't say that I consider it to be a problem. If they want to read what is said here, maybe they'll learn that they don't have as much to fear from real liberals as they're led to by the atheist pseudo-liberals. ... If any evangelical or fundamentalist or creationist reads me saying that seriously considers it, I'm not unhappy to have written it. They have the same right to my consideration as anyone else who does me the honor of reading what I write.
I may have severed ties with evangelicalism since then, but I still believe similar to evangelicalism, I was an evangelical at the time he wrote that, and it means a lot to me. Most of the left won't give me the time of day. He explicitly said that he'll allow people who are far more fundamentalist than me to listen to him. Even creationists, the ultimate left-wing bogeymen.

The guy's a brilliant thinker, not afraid to think way outside the box. Also, he trashes the bad parts of the left as much as he trashes the right. Keep in mind this is someone who calls all Republicans fascists. He makes cultural conservatives like me feel more at home with liberal ideas. He's far from a cultural conservative himself, but he doesn't like a lot of the cultural liberal rallying points. He represents a left wing that wants to include everyone instead of one based on mocking rural Southern Christians like me. It's the left of Martin Luther King Jr., not the left of Seth MacFarlane. He often uses the phrases "pseudo-religious right" for the modern right and "pseudo-left" for the modern Seth MacFarlane-type left. I'd love to meet him someday and talk about life, politics, music, Christianity, whatever.

He also has an army of trolls. I won't mention their names, but one of them is like the platonic opposite of me. A "rock music critic" who hates Christians, rural people, and progressive rock. I'll bet he hates cats and pineapple salsa too. The sad thing is there's way more of him on the left than there are people like Thought Criminal. How I wish it was the other way around. Thought Criminal's pretty angry, so a lot of his posts are responses to hate mail. I kind of wish he'd ban the trolls, but on the other hand some of his best posts started as hate mail.

I'll openly admit that his blog has pushed me further to the left. He got me more comfortable with the idea of voting for Hillary this year, when I was very uncomfortable with it at first. You should read him too. Here's an intriguing place to start, a series of posts critical of famous skeptic James Randi. (Who I'd never heard of before his blog, but I don't run in the same circles either.) Or try this post, Alternet Belongs On The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hate Group Watch List, which compares some Alternet writers to the American Family Association. I don't know if he'd like much of what's on my blog, but I like a lot of what's on his blog, even when I don't agree with it. If Thought Criminal says something, I listen and I consider the idea.

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