I've generally enjoyed MSNBC's new line up this summer but one recent interview really got to me so I wrote the following letter to the editor. Any other viewers out there get a similar or different impression?
Kind Regards - Kinsman
------Letter to Jerry Nackman-----
I am a long time MSNBC viewer and have enjoyed watching your new show. I especially appreciate your calm demeanor and gentle attempts to channel the discussion of your guests toward the more relevant components of their arguments. Nonetheless, I was greatly disappointed in how you handled your interview regarding the recent law-suite brought against the University of North Carolina for requiring freshmen students to study an introduction to Islamic religion.
It appears that the central issue of this debate evolves around the first amendment and the separation of church and state by mandating the study of a particular religious philosophy within a publicly funded University. Yet this central issue, while briefly mentioned by the plaintiff in his introduction, was not even discussed. Instead you led or let the conversion slide into a one sided diatribe of scripture quoting nonsense.
It became immediately apparent that neither you or the plaintiff were really interested in the constitutional merits of the case, but instead desired to take advantage of an opportunity to publicly denounce Islam as a religion of militant anger and hate. When the author revealed, very aptly I might add, that the same types of texts exist in Jewish and Christian scriptures both you and the plaintiff raised the red herring claim that Christians did not use such texts in a similar fashion. Then when the author responded to your challenge to reveal "even one example" of similar Christian militant behavior, the author chose the Christian terrorism that occurred in Oklahoma City killing over 200 innocent civilians. Your response went something like, well that is only one in the last twelve or so incidents. Like somehow that made it all right or made Christianity immune to criticism because its own terrorism may happen less often. Give us a break, would you!
How soon we forget all of the hate and blood spewed by the Christian religion over the centuries, not to mention the Christian blood shed of more recent terror episodes such as existed in Ireland, Lebanon, and South Africa. True in recent decades Christendom seems to have been able to shed or minimize many of its militant rightwinged factions (KKK, Nazism, etc) perhaps because of its rising middle-class standard of living or perhaps because a growing respect for scientific discovery is leading to less fundamentalism in the west. Nevertheless at the root level of all the worlds great religions, lie many hate-inspiring texts that remain the source of continued and widespread sectarian indignation as exemplified by both your and the plaintiffs expressions.
James T Golden