Tuesday, December 16, 2014

16-Dec-14: Antisemites, lone-wolves, killers of school-children, and the people who appreciate and understand them

A timeless question
Over at the Gatestone Institute's website, Dexter Van Zile from CAMERA takes a penetrating look at a high-profile Christian magazine that "caters to liberal (mainline) Protestants in the United States" (his words) while helping to advance a notoriously anti-semitic website. 

Oh, and a major search engine is involved too. 

His essay is called "The Stubborn Antisemitism of Yahoo and The Christian Century", and one of its central characters is James M. Wall. Unlike most Christian theological writers and their thinking, this Wall is someone about whom we have actual views. Strongly negative views, naturally, based on articles he has published and positions he has advocated. A sense of what we think can be gotten from a post we published here a year and a half ago: "18-Jul-13: When he lionizes child killers, is James M. Wall speaking for mainstream Christians".  In honor of Dexter's new piece, following, is an excerpt.
...James M. Wall, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.... exemplifies, to us, a deeply disturbing trend in the world of ultra-liberal religious thought: the willingness to really, really, really understand and theologically empathize with the people who hate Jews and who do awful things to them... Anyone not already familiar with what we said about this troubling individual earlier is invited to see
In the earliest of those posts, we noted that he was editor of a prominent American journal of thought and ideas called The Christian Century for the 27 years between 1972 and 1999... Our interest in Wall was aroused when we saw a rambling article on his blog entitled “Ahlam and Nezar, A Palestinian Couple Released in The Prisoner Exchange”. In it, Wall makes the argument that Ahlam Tamimi, who proudly takes credit for a terrorist atrocity in 2001 which targeted Jewish school-children and extinguished the lives of 15 people including our daughter Malki, did what anyone would do if they saw themselves at war. What she did was merely logistic. It was therefore perfectly understandable. Murder? Hatred? Deeply visceral antisemitism? Terrorism? Not, it seems, in Wall's lexicon... How Christian is it to embrace the unrepentant murderer of children who says she prays for the chance to do it again?
The original post is longer of course. And the three other posts listed above may cause the blood of some of our readers to warm up, if not boil. But please do read them if you haven't already.

Wall is far from alone in advocating the deeply offensive line he does. Lionizing the murderers of innocent people, including school children, has almost become a commonplace thing as we saw in the past few hours in Peshawar. And diminishing the seriousness of the threat posed by so-called isolated, lone-wolf jihadists like the man behind yesterday's Sydney siege (see "Sydney siege: Don't call Man Haron Monis a 'terrorist' - it only helps Isis", The Guardian, December 16, 2014] is a trend that's growing almost as fast as the number of so-called isolated, lone-wolf jihadist attacks. 

And as we are seeing right now over the river in Jordan, appreciating the heroic and the inspirational in the actions of a convicted and unrepentant killer (who prays for the day when she can kill again) is something even world-class journalists and Western governments have little problem supporting [see ["11-Dec-14: Is it newsworthy when journalists make a terror-addicted murdering colleague their role-model?"]  Still, the case of James M. Wall and those who acquiesce in his hatefulness with their silence and passivity continues to cause damage because of how little attention and criticism it has attracted.

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