Irving Kristol and those pearly gates

When a public figure dies, media outlets will often go looking for that person’s views about some of the old predictable categories: religion, God, death … and what comes after death. If a reporter digs up something pithy, it’ll often be included.


In noting the passing on Friday of neoconservative lion Irving Kristol (who died at age 89 due to complications arising from lung cancer), the New York Times did its fair share of digging on said subjects. Obit writer Barry Gewen left two small, circumspect paragraphs near the end of his story.

Mr. Kristol saw religion and a belief in the afterlife as the foundation for the middle-class values he championed. He argued that religion provided a necessary constraint to antisocial, anarchical impulses. Without it, he said, “the world falls apart.” Yet Mr. Kristol’s own religious views were so ambiguous that some friends questioned whether he believed in God. In 1996, he told an interviewer: “I’ve always been a believer.” But, he added, “don’t ask me in what.”

“That gets too complicated,” he said. “The word ‘God’ confuses everything.”

Category : The Lead
Tags :

Comment Policy
Our comment policy requires that you use your real name and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted

One Comment
  1. Denise Giardina

    Perhaps God is just as ambivalent about Mr. Kristol?

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *