Skip to main content

What are you talking about??

The New York Times is certainly one of our nation's most-esteemed newspapers.  Although I don't read it on a regular basis, I assume that the men and women who write for the paper try their best to be good reporters:  fair and accurate, neutral and factual.

They got this one wrong.

On Friday, Feb. 4, the paper printed an article about the crisis in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization which if front-and-center of the calls for reforms there and the ousting of President Mubarak.  The article gives a brief background on the Muslim Brotherhood:

The Muslim Brotherhood’s deep hostility to Israel — which reflects majority public opinion in Egypt — would pose difficulties for American policy. Its conservative views on the rights of women and intolerance of religious minorities are offensive by Western standards. But the group is far from monolithic, and is said to be divided between those who would never accept Israel’s right to exist and those who accepted a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestine exist side by side.



The organization was founded by an Egyptian schoolteacher and imam, Hassan al-Banna, as a grass-roots association whose goal was to promote the reform of Muslim society by a greater adherence to Islam, through preaching, outreach and the provision of social services.


But Mr. Banna did speak of jihad, too, as a struggle against colonialism and Zionism. Quotations from the Brotherhood’s founder have been highlighted in recent years by Western critics who portray the movement as a militant threat.

From what I know of Islamic history and the Brotherhood, this all seems accurate.  While the Brotherhood has often focused on charitable activity and political means to change unfair structures, it remains, at its core an organization of hatred, especially towards Jews.  It is also, at the very least, an organization that works to keep women and religious minorities (like Coptic Christians) out of positions of social and political power.

So what, you might ask?  Why do I care?  (That's a long list, by the way.) However, what struck me most about the article was this little gem, at the beginning of this "in-depth" article:

Its size and diversity, and the legal ban that has kept it from genuine political power in Egypt for decades, make it hard to characterize simply. As the Roman Catholic Church includes both those who practice leftist liberation theology and conservative anti-abortion advocates, so the Brotherhood includes both practical reformers and firebrand ideologues. (emphasis added)

What is this talking about??  Yes, the Church is a big Church, and there are a lot of ding-bats on both ends of the spectrum.  However, we are not a Church founded on principles of keeping certain groups out of power, against Jews, women, minorities or of promoting one type of governmental strucuture over another.  (If you think I'm wrong, show me where.  In Church documents.  Go ahead.  I dare you.)  This is an outrage comparison, both practically and journalistically. 

What are you talking about?  Read the article, and see if you think the Church deserves this back-handed comparison.










Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.

It's…

Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…