“The main sticking point remained the Temple Mount, known to Arabs as Haram al-Sharif. Mr. Arafat has been saying since the Camp David talks, when the question of sovereignty over the site was raised, that the Temple does not exist, a senior administration official said.” — Sept. 8, 2000, news article in The New York Times on the Middle East, (“Summit in New York”) when the White House had begun to sense that “a solution is slipping away.”
Say what you like about the invasion of Iraq, and I have said the worst, but whether it was about oil (Cheney, Greenspan) or Israel (Kristol, Krauthammer), it cannot be denied that Israel is in a better place on the ground today than it was in 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in Iran.
The firestorm over Brit Hume’s Christian conversion recommendation to Tiger Woods was predictable. Liberal commentators mocked his clumsy dismissal of Buddhism, while conservative commentators defended Hume’s commentary as a perfectly legitimate and deeply personal appeal for Christian conversion. The opposing views suggested that either religion never had a place in public, or that proselytizing was acceptable in any circumstances. Both views lack a more nuanced understanding of what religion’s proper role in the in public discourse should be.
The lefty blogs lit up after former Fox News anchor Brit Hume said a few days ago that Tiger Woods should turn to Christianity, as it offers forgiveness and redemption. It would help him make a total recovery, Hume said.
And I ask a simple question: Since when does one need to apologize for being a Christian? Especially in this country? A few stats for you:
Ross Douthat, the best man on the New York Times
has a good piece this week about the movie “Avatar,” the blockbuster hit that
is about to set the new zeitgeist. There is some worry in his essay, as he
correctly points out that this film by James Cameron is an anthem to pantheism,
a faith in opposition to the “literal mindedness of the monotheistic religions”
that equates God with nature, “and calls humanity into religious communion with
the natural world.”
The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe deserve serious consideration, says the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observation.
Fox Mulder couldn’t have said it better. Has Father Funes been watching “The X Files”? The Vatican is calling in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implications for the Catholic Church.