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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Monday, July 19 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Journalism 101

Since Saturday, the Home Page server has been in and out, a new problem. This time I may not be able to find a page because the server is out of service, but five or 10 minutes later it may be online again. Not sure what's up with that, but because of it I'm going to rush this to publication in the hope that the server will still be live and receive it when it's finished. It's a slightly edited version of my newscomments for Monday's Xnmp page, about Journalism as it's practiced by the New York Times these days. At least in my humble opinion. This item is a reply to a NYT column by Nicholas D. Kristof, "Militant Christianity versus militant Islam," which I accessed through the Times' wholly owned subsidiary, the International Herald Tribune online. To read his whole column, click here, or begin with the excerpt—

We have quite properly linked the fundamentalist religious tracts of Islam with the intolerance they nurture, and it's time to remove the motes from our own eyes.

Nicholas D. Kristoff would have a point worth making here if there were any evidence that the "fundamentalists" who believe that God will one day obliterate all those who refuse to follow Him are plotting to punish the enemies they perceive as anti-God, or even that the so-called fundamen-talists are even intolerant of them—but he cites not a scintilla of evidence to demonstrate that. I don't like the novel theology (novel in the sense that it has been found in some denominations—not most—for only about the past two centuries and the "pretribulation rapture" aspect of it has been labeled a heresy by the universal church from ancient times. Because of my Orthodox disavowal of that doctrine, I haven't had the least bit of interest in reading the Left Behind series, even if 60 million people worldwide have found it fascinating stuff.

However, the parts of the latest book that Kristoff takes to task are basic to any traditional reading of Scripture: mainline Protestant (discounting the liberals), Catholic, and Orthodox. Christ will return, and He will judge the world, and that part of the world that doesn't worship Him will be eternally banished from His presence (or, as many Orthodox theologians prefer to express it, they'll be consigned to experience His presence as "heat," rather than light, and that won't be comfortable for them). This is Christianity 101. It's right there in the Nicene Creed, the basic "symbol" of trinitarian faith. The Left Behind authors (I'm assuming) have taken creative license in imagining what that judgment may be like. But nowhere does Kristoff offer any evidence that it is any body of evangelicals, fundamentalists, or any other stripe of Christian believers who make this happen; it will happen when the Lord takes charge and not under the command of any human force.

Mr. Kristoff omits any consideration of the proposition that any Christian, including the "heretics" who believe in the pretribulation rapture of the church—any "Christian" who hates his or her enemies will be just as "fried" as the ethnic groups that Mr. Kristoff imagines fundamentalists despise. But those who hate their neighbors are not Christians, fundamentally or any other wise, so they won't be in any position to gloat when the deeds described occur. I've known scores of fundamentalists in the past 45 years (even been called one myself more than once) and never have known one who would dispute this proposition.

For the New York Times to be ignorant of anything this basic regarding the largest religious group in the world is appalling, and it makes anything Jayson Blair, their favorite scapegoat, ever got away with seem trivial in comparison.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

First grade proverbs...
endings to well known proverbs that a teacher gave to her six-year-olds

A penny saved is...not much.
Two's company, three's...the Musketeers.
Don't put off till tomorrow what...you put on to go to bed. None are so blind as...Stevie Wonder. .

Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

THE SENILITY PRAYER God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.


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