- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 9, 2006

‘Code’ vs. ‘Passion’

Clearly the decision makers in today’s establishment press defer to the religious sensibilities of some folks more than others. There are various reasons for this double standard, the first being media cowardice. Christians tend not to riot and torch buildings when they’re offended…. The Muslim world, in contrast, is much more dangerous. And media crusaders tend to go weak in the knees if there’s a chance of becoming the next Salman Rushdie or Theo van Gogh. …

“And while [‘The Passion of the Christ’] got plenty of media attention, the coverage was completely different from that surrounding ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ As aggressively as ‘Da Vinci’ has been puffed, ‘Christ’ got poked. … Stories that undermine Christianity … are ‘hot’ and edgy, and attract A-list celebrities, big studios, powerful news outlets and charmed-circle journalists. Just before ‘The Passion’ came out, Newsweek gave the movie a cover story of its own — a long polemic that attacked the film’s history and theology. …

“Suffice it to say, Dan Brown’s highly problematic scholarship hasn’t received anywhere near the same level of scrutiny from the establishment media, let alone the scurrilous charges of bigotry.”

Chris Weinkopf in “Cheering the Code After Punching the Passion” in the June issue of the American Enterprise

U.S. victory

“On July 7, 1846, a contingent of Marines raised the American flag over Monterey, California, to mark a proclamation by U.S. consul Thomas Larkin that the territory was being annexed as a consequence of the war with Mexico. Much of the future state had already been taken from Mexico’s nominal control by an uprising of American settlers under the Bear Flag.

“Victory in the Mexican War meant that the country gained Texas, California and everything in between, comprising most of what is now New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Next to the War of Independence and the Civil War, the Mexican War was the most important conflict laying the foundations of the United States as the power that it is today.”

William Hawkins, writing on “War on the Border,” Friday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

God and Gore

“Christians are often concerned about the lazy relativism that has become so popular in America. To compete against the post-modern mentality, we often talk about ‘truth-claims,’ and challenge others to take our truth-claims seriously. Al Gore is making a set of truth-claims, and many scientists support his theories. That does not necessarily mean Gore is right, but we should also resist the urge to let politics get in the way of an honest assessment.

“Our responsibility as citizens is to look at all the evidence and make the best assessment we can. After collecting and interpreting the data, what if we determine that global warming is not a threat, or that humans are not responsible for increased temperatures? Does that automatically mean that we should proceed with the environmental policies we have now?

“Not at all. Whether or not we face impending doom, Christians need to remember that human beings have a responsibility toward the environment. In the last few decades, we certainly have not been as conscientious about taking care of our natural resources as we should be. Like it or not, Al Gore is helping to remind Christians of an important duty.”

Ken Connor, writing on “God, Gore and global warming,” Thursday in Baptist Press News at www.bpnews.net

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