Now here’s a sobering email from a reader:
I love your writing, but the complaints from social conservatives about NRO are really complaints about you. I love your free style, but you regularly make references to your lifestyle that are not very morally pure (women’s prison movies, drinking liquor, etc). Also your language, while not usually often actually cursing, cuts as close to the line as you can.
My impression is that your lifestyle and my lifestyle differ. If social conservatives are defined as evangelicals and those who are comfortable with evangelicals, then you aren’t social conservative. I love your writing, but I would never let you spend unsupervised time alone with my children. There’s no telling what you would teach them.
I should say that the same thing applies to my other favorite writer, Derbyshire.
My response: That’s all fair, if a bit depressing. I would object only to three points. First, that I’m uncomfortable with evangelicals. I simply don’t think this is true. If by uncomfortable you mean a personal dislike, a sense of unease or bigotry against them or any other personal or political bias of consequence, I think that’s unfair. If you mean that the average evangelical might have different tastes or attitudes than my own, fair enough. But that’s true of the average Jew too.
Second, jokes about women’s prison movies do not reflect my actual lifestyle too much. No hellcats have been shived in a shower around here for quite some time.
Third, I am an outstanding, hilarious and age-appropriately so, babysitter. And I would think most people understand that even I don’t make jokes about hooker and cocaine parties around the kids.