Remember the heartless, conscience-less bully and coward who cut the hair of a pleading, screaming classmate while four accomplices held the victim down? Apparently he’s still around.

Look, in politics you wind up hurting people. But there’s no need to be mean about it. This sort of thing is special problem among the self-righteous; it’s always more fun to inflict pain in the Name of God. When the first of the Protestant martyrs to suffer under Mary I – a married Church of England clergyman – asked to see his wife before going to the stake, Bishop Gardiner answered simply: “He is a priest. He has no wife.”

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.