Actually, I found this article in TIME more insulting: “Are Evangelicals Really Sold on Palin?”
I am an evangelical, an academic, and a conservative. I often find that my fellow academics speak of evangelicals as insects to be studied and classified and explained away. If one believes as the liberal intellectuals do, then one believes this on the basis of reason. If one believes otherwise, especially if one believes anything remotely resembling conservative Christianity (and perhaps conservative Judaism), then one believes this on the basis of neuroses or pathologies or delusions. As you suggest, the “arrow” of development moves only one way. If you move in the liberal direction, you are growing, advancing, maturing, progressing. If you move in the opposite direction, you are reverting, digressing, falling backwards into some sort of comfortable prejudice or intellectual rigidity.
What is remarkable is the way in which the liberal media carry the water for the liberals on this. When they see that prayers are being offered at the Democratic National Convention, then they eagerly report this so that some of those benighted Christians will switch over and vote Democrat. Thus Obama can talk about his personal faith, his prayer life, his devotion to the church–he can even preach at a church on Sunday–and all of this will be celebrated and put front-and-center for everyone to see *as an example of how attractive he is*. When a conservative speaks of the relevance of her prayer life to her decisions, or when she says that she thinks a certain decision is God’s will, or so on, then this is a subject of fear and loathing, and if it is reported it is reported in order to show everyone what a dangerous wacko this is.
I’m no longer surprised by double standards, of course. But this one is particularly breathtaking.