Religion Roundup: Hatin’ on Haiti, “Winning the War,” and more
January 20, 2010
Hello from me and my buddy Pat! I’m quite busy these days and will only be getting busier as the run-up to my thesis submission intensifies, but fear not: NonProphet Status will continue to bring you original content every week.
Without further ado: religion news, from me to you!
Haitian Hubbub: The earthquake in Haiti has been unavoidable in the media, and with good reason — it was and continues to be absolutely devastating. Distracting from the devastation, however, was good ‘ol Pat Robertson, who offered on his “700 Club” soapbox the god-awful opinion that Haiti suffered tragedy on a national scale because, once upon a time, Haitian slaves made a pact with the devil to secure freedom from their French slave-holders. This idea is so offensive and unbelievable that it was of course immediately derided by the mainstream media, but it did provide an opportunity for reflection on what profoundly inaccurate narratives informed his claim. For more reflections on the implications behind Robertson’s claims, check out this helpful roundup of reactions. Robertson aside, the crisis in Haiti also inspired some inspired reflection, including a brilliant rumination posted on NPR on religion as a mode of processing and meaning-making in the face of devastation. Meanwhile, my fellow secularists set up a religion-free fund to donate to the recovery effort in Haiti.
Debating Brit: The Brit Hume fallout continues (see the most recent Religion Roundup). Check out two very worthwhile responses: one in the New York Times which suggests that Hume was not out of line but was rather operating rationally from the Christian worldview and that there is a more important conversation to be had in response to Hume’s comments; and one from Martin Marty which responds to claims by Hume and others that the negative responses to Hume’s comments highlights a backlash rooted in a deep persecution of Christians in America — Marty boldly cautions Christians against this narrative because, he claims, it belittles the idea of persecution in a world where real persecution is very common and very serious.
Creation Recreation: The film “Creation” will finally see its U.S. debut this weekend, four months following its international release, after several complications including the announcement that it had found a distributor everywhere else in the world besides the United States because distributors balked at the idea of a film on Charles Darwin in a country where, according to Gallup, only 14% of the population believe in pure evolution (as opposed to 36% who believe in intelligent design and 44% who believe in creation theory).
Winning (?) The War: The New York Times has a “letter from Europe” about the American war on terror that asks the important question of whether the West is winning the war on terror under the framework that the real battle is for “hearts and minds.” Their conclusion? It is “hard to say the West is winning.”
Furor For Cartoon Turns Violent: The long-simmering fury over Danish cartoons that belittled the Prophet Muhammad resulted in a recent attack on one of the cartoonists. In an article on the incident, the New York Times calls the attack a “certain awful inevitability,” then breaks down the reactions to the attack. Catch yourself up to speed, and then ask yourself the obvious question: what will bring healing for all parties involved in this situation? If you’ve got an idea, let me know in the comments.