Let It Boil
Bob Jones U. has a glorious message for Bush, lest he be tempted to the “paganism” of bipartisanship: “You owe the liberals nothing.” Culture warriors reporting for duty! Or, as theRev. Bob Jones, III – a Stones fan, it seems — puts it, “let it boil.”
Drink Me
Breaking news: Houston Chronicle op-ed reveals a previously undisclosed member of the axis of evil: liberalism, taken “captive” by the “evil ideology” of the left. How did the wicked left seduce its prey? “The left bewitches with its potions and elixirs, served daily in its strongholds of academe, Hollywood and old media.” Pastor Frank Pastore, whose title and name makes us think of Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (that must be the elixir talking), “reports.”
Can You See It?
Diane Winston asks the question everyone’s asking these days — “If this battle is, as I suspect, as much for hearts and souls as for volunteers and votes, can the Democrats effect their own political resurrection?” — and then this more insightful one: “Will the media have the ears to hear it and the eyes to see it?” Winston does. And in a very short space, she gives you a historical reminder you’ll need if you want to, as well (free reg. req.).
Online Islam, Pt. 2
From Bene Diction, two updates or addenda to the Muslim online identity story below: an Iranian-Canadian blogger is receiving death threats for allegedly insulting Islam, and nine Iranian bloggers go to trial next week for “propagating against the regime, acting against national security, disturbing public opinion and insulting religious sanctities.”
The Christian Hanky Code
An oldie, but a goody. Avoid theological misunderstandings with The Christian Hanky Code. (HT: TwistedChick.)
Online Identity

10 November 2004

In the wake of Theo van Gogh’s murder, and an online discussion about discouraging young Muslims from becoming “Wahaboys,” some critics lay the blame on multicultural tolerance and the power of internet websites to determine Muslim identity. The BBC’s Dominic Casciani talks to French scholar of Islam, Gilles Kepel, who believes multiculturalism has been a disaster, leading in practice to balkanized clan-identities from which people who have identified as “Muslim” (or “black,” “gay,” or “Christian”) can’t escape. Kepel, a member of the commission which advocated the ban of religious symbols from French public schools, thinks the West will host the fight over the modernization of Islam, and that the internet, specifically, is the battleground between fundamentalism and progress. Maybe so, but the comments of one reader also ring true: “Muslims do not see themselves as a commodity to be manipulated with headscarf bans and other measures to bring them into line. All these measures will backfire and you will see increasing radicalism…Every action and discussion which makes the community a focus strengthens that conviction within the community.”
Hoorah, King David!
We’ll do Irish Elk one better. Soldiers steeling themselves for battle with The Bloodhound Gang’s “Fire Water Burn” is so last June. Kids about to be thrust into danger and killing in Fallujah today are listening to heavy metal Christian Rock, reciting scripture, baptizing brand-new converts and giving a Marine’s “Hoorah” to King David for prevailing over thePhilistines.
Religious Specter’s in the Press
Social conservatives, put away that rope. Liberals, put away your false sense of security. Sen. Arlen Specter, media victim, would like everyone to know that he would never block a pro-life judicial nominee, and has in fact “sheparded through” controversial confirmations of other pro-life nominees who now sit on the federal appeals courts. Moreover, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson have no worries about Specter, and what more assurance could either side want?
Dubya Dance
Center for Religion & Media member Michele R. Brown takes today’s first prize for religion-in-public-sphere metaphor: “I was wondering how long it would be before this administration abandoned this newly activated batch of evangelical voters — I think the resignation of John Ashcroft is just the beginning of W’s moonwalk away from his new base vote…
Secularized Reporting
Al-Jazeera cites an Iraqi reporter in Falluja who says half of the city’s 120 mosques have been hit by U.S. air and tank strikes. American media has nothing: CNN reports that Iraqi troops under U.S. command are “searching” mosques; NYT tapdances around the question with a report on a battle for a mosque that notes that insurgents are standing firm “until the buildings around them are obliterated.” It’s easy to believe that insurgents are using mosques as bases; what’s harder to understand is the American press’s drive to secularize the battle.
Who’s the Boss? (Hint: It’s Not Rove.)

We’re a couple days late on this crucial post-election reporting from The Washington Post‘sAlan Cooperman, but don’t let our tardiness stop you from getting in the know. What’s to know? Karl Rove may have determined that Bush needed a bigger evangelical vote to win, but it was the Christian right — which The Revealer thinks the press should now define as the alliance of evangelicals, schismatic mainline Protestants, and cafeteria Catholics willing to make common cause with them — that led, and the White House that struggled to keep up.

Take gay marriage (or don’t, as the voters determined). While centrist conservatives seek to sanctify their party’s victory by distancing themselves from gay marriage bans (David Brooks, a gay marriage supporter, has been spinning this key issue out of the equation — proving himself a “Bobo,” after all), the real winners this year knew from early on that they had a potent weapon in, um, their hands.

“Some Christian leaders perceived not only a threat to biblical morality, but also a winning political issue. Same-sex marriage ‘is different from abortion,’ said the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark. ‘It touches every segment of society, schools, the media, television, government, churches. No one is left out.’”

And now religious activists — clergypeople and local political leaders are speaking up to say, Wedid this, not the GOP. “‘They were the Johnny-come-latelies, if anything’” claims the Michigan state senator behind his state’s gay marriage ban. What does it all mean? Base to the boss: Scoot over — we’ll be driving from now on.