11 January 2006

Christian apocalypticist and host of the recently cancelled Trinity Broadcast Network show, “International Intelligence Briefing,” Hal Lindsey takes his case to Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes,” defending himself against TBN’s publicized concerns that Lindsey’s views were offensive to their Middle Eastern viewers. Lindsey wants to clarify: it’s not that he’s insensitive to Arabs and Muslims, so much as that he believes most moderate Muslims aren’t violent because they don’t actually read their Qurans; and it’s not until Muslims begin to study their holy book and its 109 “war verses” that they are transformed into violent radicals who need to convert people by force. Such an understanding of theology, if left to TBN and the other fundamentalist corners of media-land, would be just so much self-gratifying bile to be ignored. But with the elevation of the controversy to national news, and the larger platform afforded the martyred Lindsey’s views — being asked by the show’s “liberal” host, Colmes, whether or not Islam is itself an inherently “radical religion” (according to Lindsey, yes) — points to the conservative position on Islam du jour, one hinted at last week in The Wall Street Journal: that the only “good” Muslims, by U.S. standards, are “bad” ones, doctrinally — the ones who don’t read their Qurans. So much for the religion of peace.