Nicholas Kristoff’s column, Jesus and Jihad, in the NY Times today, revived a post I’ve been working on. I don’t normally read Kristoff anymore, but several people forwarded the column to me. He writes about the “Left Behind” novels, and what they are saying.
“The latest is “Glorious Appearing,” which has Jesus returning to Earth to wipe all non-Christians from the planet. It’s disconcerting to find ethnic cleansing celebrated as the height of piety.
[. . .] In “Glorious Appearing,” Jesus merely speaks and the bodies of the enemy are ripped open. Christians have to drive carefully to avoid “hitting splayed and filleted bodies of men and women and horses.”
[. . .] As my Times colleague David Kirkpatrick noted in an article, this portrayal of a bloody Second Coming reflects a shift in American portrayals of Jesus, from a gentle Mister Rogers figure to a martial messiah presiding over a sea of blood. Militant Christianity rises to confront Militant Islam.”
I’ve often said that the way to know what the Right is saying is to understand what the intended audience is hearing. Another way is to learn what the Right says to each other rather than what has to be said in order to trick the public.
Here’s an article in the “Christian Press,” Conservative Attributes Bush’s Pro-Islam Comments to Politics
. Paul Weyrich isn’t just any “conservative.”
(AgapePress) – The head of a Washington, DC, think tank who has access to the White House says people of faith do not need to be concerned about President Bush’s public comments about Islam. The conservative activist says the president does know the “real score.”
Six days after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush visited the Islamic Center in the nation’s capital where he addressed reported intimidation demonstrated by some Americans toward Muslims. After quoting an English translation from the Koran, the president made the following statement: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.”
Since that time, Bush has appeared to go out of his way to bolster his September 17, 2001, statement and embrace the American-Muslim community, even going so far as to host Ramadan celebrations at the White House.
Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, says he is concerned about the growth of the Muslim faith in the United States. But he emphasizes he is not concerned about President Bush’s frequent references to Islam as a “religion of peace” that has simply been hijacked by a radical fringe.
“I can say with certainty that [the president] knows what the real score is,” Weyrich says. “He feels he has to say these things — and maybe if you and I were president, we’d have to do the same thing.”
Weyrich says if the president actually declared that America is in a war against Islam, there might be more Muslims taking up arms against the U.S. — a “real jihad,” as he puts it. So Bush, according to Weyrich, is soft-peddling his rhetoric in order to “tamp down” any worldwide activity that might occur.
“I know the president has to say certain things — and I understand that,” the conservative icon says, “but I also know that he doesn’t believe it.”