Right-wing Christian leaders, mostly American, are currently attempting to gain support for a document called the “Manhattan Declaration”, which, among other things, “compares pro-choice advocates to eugenicists (and implicitly to Nazis) and equates same-sex marriage with polygamy and a gateway to legalized incest.” The backers of the Manhattan Declaration include the usual suspects of American Christian reactionism – including Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and Prison Fellowship Ministries’ Chuck Colson. The American Family Association’s January 2010 newsletter urges members to sign the document, warning of the grave threat from “the anti-family/anti-religious radicals who control the White House and Congress.”
Shalom Goldman’s newly released book, Zeal for Zion argues that Twentieth Century Jewish Zionism is not a Jewish initiative, but rather the product of three centuries of earlier Christian Zionism within dispensational Protestantism. In the words of Goldman’s book: “As historian of ideas Richard Popkin noted in the early 1990s, ‘Much of Zionism has its roots in Christian rather than Jewish doctrine.’ Among those doctrines is the tendency in the Protestant churches to read biblical narrative and prophecy in a more literal and historical manner than had been the tradition in either Rabbinic Judaism or in the Orthodox or Catholic Churches.”
A “Museum of Tolerance” is to be built in Jerusalem – on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery. Unremarkably, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which is planning to build the tolerance museum, has turned a blind eye to the interests of local Muslims.
Robert Jensen discusses the conflict of interest faced by the New York Times, when the Jerusalem bureau chief’s son joined the Israeli army, and the ensuing debate over the retention of his position at the newspaper. Ignoring the narrow confines of the controversy, Jensen opines, “As is typical in mainstream journalists’ discussions of journalistic neutrality and objectivity, the focus on an individual obscures more important questions about the institutions for which individuals work and the powerful forces that shape those institutions’ picture of the world.”
And how did the United States kill hundreds of thousands of Haitians in an earthquake? William Blum provides some of the background in Chapter 55 of his book Killing Hope: “What does the government of the United States do when faced with a choice between supporting: (a) a group of totalitarian military thugs guilty of murdering thousands, systematic torture, widespread rape, and leaving severely mutilated corpses in the streets … or (b) a non-violent priest, legally elected to the presidency by a landslide, whom the thugs have overthrown in a coup? … But what if the priest is a ‘leftist‘? … ”
And historian Howard Zinn died.
“Most … get caught up in… the Empire’s media noise … the self-referential circle jerk of facts and figures and mainstream media citations that pass for news and information in this country …”
– Joe Bageant, author of Deer Hunting with Jesus