New York Times Roots for Secularism

August 17th, 2005 2:22 PM

The New York Times relates a touching story in an editorial about a lady (Victoria Ruvolo) who not only forgave, but powerfully comforted a man who had nearly killed her (Ryan Cushing) when the two met face to face outside the courtroom where Cushing had just entered his guilty plea.

Cushing tossed a turkey through Ruvolo's car windshield last fall. She "needed many hours of surgery to rebuild her shattered facial bones."

According to the Times, Ruvolo cradled Cushing's head as he sobbed and begged for her forgiveness. She told him, "It's O.K.; it's O.K. I just want you to make your life the best it can be."

Curiously couched in the middle of this otherwise fine editorial was this gratuitous paragraph:

"Many have assumed that Ms. Ruvolo's motivation is religious. But while we can estimate the size of her heart, we can't peer into it. Her impulse may have been entirely secular."

I find it noteworthy that the Times took pains to raise the assertion that Ms. Ruvolo is religious just so it could refute it. Does not the Times protesteth too much? Apart from their inclusion of the assumption of her "religious heart" by unnamed people, how would we have known?

Obviously, the Times wanted to raise the issue so it could point out that the religious have no monopoly on morality. It smacks of the same defensive indignation expressed by Democrats at their mystifying inability to appeal to "values voters."

Now I realize the Times would have us believe that they harbor no bias against religion in general or Christians in particular -- you know, the American Taliban -- but it's interesting it felt the compulsion to act as cheerleader for secularism and proselytize for its sacred irreligion when no one else had made the victim's motivation an issue.