Monday, July 29, 2013

Silly Muslims, Jesus is for Christians

Act #210:   Try listening.

1. learning; knowledge acquired by study; the academic attainments of a scholar.
Last week Lauren Green, religion correspondent for Fox News interviewed religious scholar Dr. Reza Aslan about his new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth."  Dr. Aslan holds a Bachelor of Arts' degree in religions from Santa Clara University, a Master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a Doctorate in the sociology of religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara.   He has been an academic and religious scholar for over 20 years.

During the now infamous interview, Green repeatedly questioned why Dr. Aslan, a Muslim, felt compelled to write a book about Jesus.  In fact her very first question was this, “I want to be clear, so you’re a Muslim. Why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?”  Dr. Aslan responded, “To be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim. So it’s not that I’m just some Muslim writing about Jesus, I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions.”  The interview is painful to watch, to say the least, as Green literally interrupts and attacks Dr. Aslan's every word, with little evidence that she has read any part of the book, or researched his biography before conducting the interview. 

This begs the question, what might the world look like if all academic scholars were not permitted to conduct research or publish materials about the subject matters that they studied unless they were fully immersed and had personal experience with that subject matter?  That would mean:
Only mothers with PhD's could write about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting
Only people with mental illness could write about mental illness
There would only be 44 books (autobiographies) about U.S. presidents
Children would have to go to medical school in order to write books about pediatric health
We would have to teach animals to write and obtain degrees before publishing any books about animals
The only people that could write about gun violence would have to have been shot (or killed) in their lifetime
Books on drug and alcohol addiction would only be written by active users
Films could only be reviewed by filmmakers, books by authors, and plays by directors
Public libraries would probably not exist and if they did, they'd probably be uninteresting and pretty biased.  Perhaps the interview might have gone a bit more smoothly if Ms. Green, Fox News RELIGION correspondent, a two-time beauty queen (Miss Minnesota and 3rd runner up Miss America) and accomplished concert pianist, actually had a degree in, say, religion in addition to her journalism degree?  Well, she is listed as a Christian on Wikipedia.  Maybe that should suffice.

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