(dumb?) Fox News Host says Stupid Things to Scholar Who Wrote About Jesus

by fulltimestudent 31 Replies latest social current

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am not thrilled about MSNBC. Nevertheless, I need to become as neutral as possible to practice law. Fox News is far, far worse. They are not in the same universe.

    Current TV, though, is close to Fox. I have lost respect for Bill Moyers.

    Politico is the best neutral source for political news. The NYT, WSJ, and Washington Post have their own individual biases. Nevertheless, once you are aware of the basic bias of each paper, they are unbeatable for news. The NYT has one huge downside for me. When NY faces local crises, I am forced to purchase the Daily News and New York Post. Basically, they go New York light to cover international, national, and finance. Sometimes people who live in New York need New York heavy duty.

  • Lore

    Sadly, the fox news viewers will mistake his annoyance with arrogance and think he came off as "over educated".

  • adamah

    Lore said-

    Sadly, the fox news viewers will mistake his annoyance with arrogance and think he came off as "over educated".

    As a JW likely would, too.

    Here's an excerpt from Aslan's book; can you spot where a JW would likely hit a brick wall and conclude Reza Aslan doesn't know his stuff (I put it in bold)?

    Chapter One

    A Hole in the Corner

    Who killed Jonathan son of Ananus as he strode across the Temple Mount in the year 56 c.e.? No doubt there were many in Jerusalem who longed to slay the rapacious high priest, and more than a few who would have liked to wipe out the bloated Temple priesthood in its entirety. For what must never be forgotten when speaking of first-century Palestine is that this land—this hallowed land from which the spirit of God flowed to the rest of the world—was occupied territory. Legions of Roman troops were stationed throughout Judea. Some six hundred Roman soldiers resided atop the Temple Mount itself, within the high stone walls of the Antonia Fortress, which buttressed the northwest corner of the Temple wall. The unclean centurion in his red cape and polished cuirass who paraded through the Court of Gentiles, his hand hovering over the hilt of his sword, was a not so subtle reminder, if any were needed, of who really ruled this sacred place.

    Roman dominion over Jerusalem began in 63 b.c.e., when Rome’s master tactician, Pompey Magnus, entered the city with his conquering legions and laid siege to the Temple. By then, Jerusalem had long since passed its economic and cultural zenith. The Canaanite settlement that King David had recast into the seat of his kingdom, the city he had passed to his wayward son, Solomon, who built the first Temple to God—sacked and destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 b.c.e.—the city that had served as the religious, economic, and political capital of the Jewish nation for a thousand years, was, by the time Pompey strode through its gates, recognized less for its beauty and grandeur than for the religious fervor of its troublesome population.

    Situated on the southern plateau of the shaggy Judean mountains, between the twin peaks of Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives, and flanked by the Kidron Valley in the east and the steep, forebidding Valley of Gehenna in the south, Jerusalem, at the time of the Roman invasion, was home to a settled population of about a hundred thousand people. To the Romans, it was an inconsequential speck on the imperial map, a city the wordy statesman Cicero dismissed as “a hole in the corner.” But to the Jews this was the navel of the world, the axis of the universe. There was no city more unique, more holy, more venerable in all the world than Jerusalem. The purple vineyards whose vines twisted and crawled across the level plains, the well-tilled fields and viridescent orchards bursting with almond and fig and olive trees, the green beds of papyrus floating lazily along the Jordan River—the Jews not only knew and deeply loved every feature of this consecrated land, they laid claim to all of it. Everything from the farmsteads of the Galilee to the low-lying hills of Samaria and the far outskirts of Idumea, where the Bible says the accursed cities of Sodom and Gomorrah once stood, was given by God to the Jews, though in fact the Jews ruled none of it, not even Jerusalem, where the true God was worshipped. The city that the Lord had clothed in splendor and glory and placed, as the prophet Ezekiel declared, “in the center of all nations”—the eternal seat of God’s kingdom on earth—was, at the dawn of the first century c.e., just a minor province, and a vexing one at that, at the far corner of the mighty Roman Empire.

    It is not that Jerusalem was unaccustomed to invasion and ­occupation. Despite its exalted status in the hearts of the Jews, the truth is that Jerusalem was little more than a trifle to be passed among a succession of kings and emperors who took turns ­plundering and despoiling the sacred city on their way to far grander ambitions. In 586 b.c.e. the Babylonians—masters of Mesopotamia—rampaged through Judea, razing both Jerusalem and its Temple to the ground. The Babylonians were conquered by the Persians, who allowed the Jews to return to their beloved city and rebuild their temple, not because they admired the Jews or took their cult seriously, but because they considered Jerusalem an irrelevant backwater of little interest or concern to an empire that stretched the length of Central Asia (though the prophet Isaiah would thank the Persian king Cyrus by anointing him messiah). The Persian Empire, and Jerusalem with it, fell to the armies of Alexander the Great, whose descendants imbued the city and its inhabitants with Greek culture and ideas. Upon Alexander’s untimely death in 323 b.c.e., Jerusalem was passed as spoils to the Ptolemaic dynasty and ruled from distant Egypt, though only briefly. In 198 b.c.e., the city was wrested from Ptolemaic control by the Seleucid king Antiochus the Great, whose son Antiochus Epiphanes fancied himself god incarnate and strove to put an end once and for all to the worship of the Jewish deity in Jerusalem. But the Jews responded to this blasphemy with a relentless ­guerrilla war led by the stouthearted sons of Mattathias the Hasmonaean—the Maccabees—who reclaimed the holy city from Seleucid control in 164 b.c.e. and, for the first time in four centuries, restored Jewish hegemony over Judea.

    For the next hundred years, the Hasmonaeans ruled God’s land with an iron fist. They were priest-kings, each sovereign serving as both King of the Jews and high priest of the Temple. But when civil war broke out between the brothers Hyrcanus and Aristobulus over control of the throne, each brother foolishly reached out to Rome for support. Pompey took the brothers’ entreaties as an invitation to seize Jerusalem for himself, thus putting an end to the brief period of direct Jewish rule over the city of God. In 63 b.c.e., Judea became a Roman protectorate, and the Jews were made once again a subject people.

    Roman rule, coming as it did after a century of independence, was not warmly received by the Jews. The Hasmonaean dynasty was abolished, but Pompey allowed Hyrcanus to maintain the position of high priest. That did not sit well with the supporters of Aristobulus, who launched a series of revolts to which the Romans responded with characteristic savagery—burning towns, massacring rebels, enslaving populations. Meanwhile, the chasm between the starving and indebted poor toiling in the countryside and the wealthy provincial class ruling in Jerusalem grew even wider. It was standard Roman policy to forge alliances with the landed aristocracy in every captured city, making them dependent on the Roman overlords for their power and wealth. By aligning their interests with those of the ruling class, Rome assured that local leaders remained wholly vested in maintaining the imperial system. Of course, in Jerusalem, “landed aristocracy” more or less meant the priestly class, and specifically, that handful of wealthy priestly families who maintained the Temple cult and who, as a result, were charged by Rome with collecting the taxes and tribute and keeping order among the increasingly restive population—tasks for which they were richly compensated.

    The fluidity that existed in Jerusalem between the religious and political powers made it necessary for Rome to maintain close supervision over the Jewish cult and, in particular, over the high priest. As head of the Sanhedrin and “leader of the nation,” the high priest was a figure of both religious and political renown with the power to decide all religious matters, to enforce God’s law, and even to make arrests, though only in the vicinity of the Temple. If the Romans wanted to control the Jews, they had to control the Temple. And if they wanted to control the Temple, they had to control the high priest, which is why, soon after taking control over Judea, Rome took upon itself the responsibility of appointing and deposing (either directly or indirectly) the high priest, essentially transforming him into a Roman employee. Rome even kept custody of the high priest’s sacred garments, handing them out only on the sacred festivals and feast days and confiscating them immediately after the ceremonies were complete.

    Still, the Jews were better off than some other Roman subjects. For the most part, the Romans humored the Jewish cult, allowing the rituals and sacrifices to be conducted without interference. The Jews were even excused from the direct worship of the emperor, which Rome imposed upon nearly every other religious community under its dominion. All that Rome asked of Jerusalem was a twice-daily sacrifice of one bull and two lambs on behalf of the emperor and for his good health. Continue making the sacrifice, keep up with the taxes and tribute, follow the provincial laws, and Rome was happy to leave you, your god, and your temple alone.

    The Romans were, after all, fairly proficient in the religious beliefs and practices of subject peoples. Most of the lands they conquered were allowed to maintain their temples unmolested. Rival gods, far from being vanquished or destroyed, were often assimilated into the Roman cult (that is how, for example, the Canaanite god Baal became associated with the Roman god Saturn). In some cases, under a practice called evocatio, the Romans would take possession of an enemy’s temple—and therefore its god, for the two were inextricable in the ancient world—and transfer it to Rome, where it would be showered with riches and lavish sacrifices. Such displays were meant to send a clear signal that the hostilities were directed not toward the enemy’s god but toward its fighters; the god would continue to be honored and worshipped in Rome if only his devotees would lay down their arms and allow themselves to be absorbed into the empire.

    As generally tolerant as the Romans may have been when it came to foreign cults, they were even more lenient toward the Jews and their fealty to their One God—what Cicero decried as the “barbarian superstitions” of Jewish monotheism. The Romans may not have understood the Jewish cult, with its strange observances and its overwhelming obsession with ritual...

    From: Amazon

    The guy can write, that's for sure! I might have to give it a read (although it's title is a bit hyperbolic, which is somewhat sensationalist and off-putting).


  • baltar447

    Talkin heads of any network: Dumb sh*ts. This chick is no different. Go on Faux News with anything but your nose up fundie asses and find yourself attacked.

  • mP

    I guess Hitler never existed, because everybody writing about him didnt believe in Nazism.

  • *lost*
  • Oubliette

    This is what happens when unqualified people that are ignorant of the issues and unprepared interview educated people on any subject.

    Her first question was ok, but it quickly became evident that she didn't really grasp what the book was about or what Mr. Aslan was saying.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    OH, YES. OVEREDUCATED! All the time growing up people order me not to think too much, esp. about Witness stuff. I was so young I could not understand what they had about thinking. What is so evil about thinking? My teachers, the president, the governor, the FBI director, etc. all tell little kids education is a good thing. If you live in a backward and poor socioeconomic neighborhood, nothing is worse than thinking and reading any book ocassionally. This was my first cognitive dissonance. In my kid brain, a president and teachers outweigh anyone at KH. My parents were not too bad. My mom was expelled at 14 for flag salute.

    So I mind my own business but locals hate me. Altho I lived in a white enclave, most of my close friends were black in black neighborhoods. Middle class blacks have the same basic values I do. I work very hard to escape stupid land. Finally, I have the precious opportunity to travel a few miles to Manhattan. It was a transformative experience. Millions of New Yorkers and other nice cities believe you can not think often enough. The deeper the better. I had a feeling I was not asked out b/c I was smart. No problem. Men flock to my door because I am smart.

    Fox News is how despots come to power. It triggers me excessively when people have no choice but to know certain realities and lie on a massive scale. This not a political statement. It has nothing to do with world views. Journalists have informed people for centuries and thousands of years. Town criers existed in very ancient times. There is some puffery in politics but massive lies are not news or political. My problem is not that FOX ha a conservative base.

    I recall William F. Buckley and his like. Nelson Rockefeller, Ed Brooke, Jacob Javitz were all Republicans. They championed civil rights before the Dems did. There were many of them. They were brilliant by any standard. Sophisticated beyond measure. Not prudes. This is very dangerous in any country. To have the only opposing party taken over by rude, hate mongers is a national catastrophe. Not all Dem ideas are great. There is no pushback now. Things are out of balance. The best policy comes when both parties are in equipose. Brilliant, educated, sophisticated officials on both sides.

    I laugh about many current events and Fox News b.c I appreciate the massive threat to America at its basic core from history, poli sci, sociology, law. This situation with one party the party of evil and ignorance is more dangerous than terrorism. I am an adult. Conservatism has many strengths that America needs. Basically, any personl with minimal education is going to vote Democrat and every ignorant jerk is going to vote GOP. This is NOT a normal situation. Our Const'n is based on opposing forces.

    I honestly believe we would better off with the British model.

  • Pterist

    Good review on Aslan's book by blogger Greg Carey on Huffington Post.

    Greg Carey

    Greg Carey

    Professor of New Testament, Lancaster Theological Seminary


  • Berengaria

    no matter what stupid things one person on fox says, they will never and I repeat NEVER be as worthless and hate filled and down right liars /frauds as MS NBC.

    LOL you sound like the interviewer. Examples please?!

    Unfortunately this poor lady was probably only following her earbud orders. As for Mr. Aslans humbleness, how many times can someone answer the same ignorant question??

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