Friday, February 10, 2006

At least someone sees things clearly

I'm no fan of evangelical Christians, but I have to admit their take on the Danish cartoon controversy is more reasonable and insightful than any statements coming from western political leaders these days.
Many conservative Christians have long regarded the media as enemy territory, where traditional values are at best misunderstood and often mocked.
So you might think they would relate sympathetically to Muslim outrage over the Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. That outrage has sparked violent protests throughout the Islamic world.
But concerns about the goals of radical Islamic leaders, a sense that a double standard pervades the Muslim media and a general distaste for organized violence have overridden any empathy most Christian conservatives might feel for angry Muslims.
'Unfortunately, the protesters are hinting that the cartoonist might have been right,' said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. 'They're killing fellow Muslims and destroying property. Maybe the radical protests are validating the cartoon instead of proving that cartoon wrong.'
No Christian leader ever espoused violence to retaliate against 'Piss Christ,' the controversial 1989 artwork - a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine - by Andres Serrano, even though that riled many Christians, noted Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a longtime leader among religious conservatives.
'I understand why any religious person would get upset if they think their faith is disparaged in a drawing or a cartoon,' Bauer said. 'But ... how can (the cartoons) engender a greater emotional reaction than the daily bombings and attacks by groups claiming to do them in the name of Allah?
'It doesn't look like a call for respect,' Bauer concluded of the Muslims' protests. 'It looks like a call for submission.'"

You got that right.


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