Martin Marty on Suffering Fools Gladly


Martin Marty, sociologist of religions from the Univetrsity of Chicago, is one of my famous commentators of the American religious scene.

His latest text for the Sightings, deals with a recent text published recently by David Brooks in The New York Times.

Brooks explains: ‘The phrase originally came from William Tyndale’s 1534 translation of the Bible. In it, Paul was ripping into the decadent citizens of Corinth for turning away from his own authoritative teaching and falling for a bunch of second-rate false apostles. “For ye suffers fool gladly,” Paul says with withering sarcasm, “seeing ye yourselves are wise.”

Today, the phrase is often used as an ambiguous compliment. It suggests that a person is so smart he has trouble tolerating people who are far below his own high standards. It is used to describe a person who is so passionately committed to a vital cause that he doesn’t have time for social niceties toward those idiots who stand in its way. It is used to suggest a level of social courage; a person who has the guts to tell idiots what he really thinks.’ Continue reading “Martin Marty on Suffering Fools Gladly”