Shepard Reports Called “Anti-Christian”
NBC News has refused a request from Focus on the Family that Today Show host Katie Couric apologize for “anti-Christian” remarks following the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard. The FotF request came after a November 20/20 program featuring interviews with Shepard’s murderers, who now say that their “gay panic” defense during trial was a strategy devised by their lawyer. Not exactly a shocker, but enough to make FotF claim that, since “Shepard’s death was not an anti-gay ‘hate crime,'” Couric should apologize for asking then-governor of Wyoming about gay-rights advocates’ claim that conservative Christian groups were contributing to an anti-homosexual atmosphere by suggesting that gays should change their sexual orientation. “‘As we all know, the tone and manner with which a question is posed can convey a great deal of information,'” said Focus President Don Hodel. “‘Ms. Couric’s tone and manner were not that of an impartial journalist seeking the truth about a tragedy. It was the tone and manner of an advocate intent on repeating an unfounded accusation disguised as a question.'”
Christianophobic Continent a “Christian Club”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the E.U. to admit Turkey, or admit it was a “Christian Club” that was opposed to Islam. Erdogan was also quoted as saying that the E.U.’s failure to admit Turkey might provoke an increase in violence from radical Islamists.
Exodus from Bethlehem?
Mayor of Bethlehem, Hanner Nasir, has criticized the Israeli occupation as an oppression and “offense to human dignity” that is causing a Christian exodus from the town. “‘Each year I try not to be gloomy in my Christmas message,'” said Nasir, but “‘Living under occupation is certainly the most painful experience man can face and the biggest offence to human rights and dignity.'” According to Nasir, approximately 2,400 of Bethlehem’s 40,000 Christians have left since the September 2000 start of the Palestinian intifada.
Wolfe’s Morality Play Wins “Bad Sex” Award
What’s wrong with Charlotte Simmons, heroine of Tom Wolfe’s latest novel? David Brooksbravely defied the bobos last month, by proclaiming Wolfe’s southern belle Charlotte a victim thrown into an amoral (presumably northeastern) college universe where chivalry and character-building are dead, professors use irony quotes when talking about God, bathrooms are co-ed, and even good girls like Charlotte do. On the other hand, maybe it wasn’t “moral suicide” but just bad sex…
Revealer editor Jeff Sharlet’s Killing the Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible named one of six onPublishers Weekly‘s best religion books of the year.
Hacking, Why Not?
Washington Post reports on a jailhouse memoir by Indonesian terrorist Imam Samudra, responsible for the Bali bombing two years ago. Although there are only 4,000 copies in print, the Post hypes a chapter titled “Hacking, Why Not?” as indicative of a scary new front in the — what to call the conflict rippling across the globe for a thousand different reasons? Let’s just say a scary new front. But if this elementary, Indonesian small press book is the worst the terrorists can bring, maybe it’s not so bad. Or maybe it is — what if terrorists are reading the millions of copies of American books that teach hacking? What if? A question WaPo doesn’t bother with.
Peter Manseau and Jeff Sharlet: We’d pulled into town a few days before to check in for a week’s stay at the Meher Spiritual Center, the “home in the West” of the late Indian guru Meher Baba, believed by many to be the “Avatar of the Age,” the latest in an endless parade of “corporeal manifestations of the divine.” Baba “dropped his body” in 1969, but as seen in the videos frequently shown at the center, he’d been a manifestation with a kind, almost silly manner; one of his most popular teachings consisted of pulling a hard candy from his pocket and winging it at one of his followers… Read “Baba, Baba, Everywhere!”
Holy Cold War With Hot Spice
10 am, Eastern, on WNYC: New Republic editor Peter Beinart argues that Democrats can regain power by taking the same militant attitude toward Islam that they took against Communism. Oh, we mean “political Islam.” Muslims are just fine — cute, even — when they do what they’re told. As for the naughty ones — well, those decades of paranoia, black lists, and fear of apocalypse worked great the first time ’round, didn’t they? Tune in online to hear the new centrist line: Holy war.