“Who Am I to Judge?”
If the Roman Catholic church needs spending money – and what religion doesn’t? – I have a modest proposal: brand the tolerant words of Pope Francis about gays and sell t-shirts and ball caps with the revolutionary phrase, which sounds like the sayings of the Jewish preacher of two millennia ago.
The new Pope’s words on his trip home from Brazil suggest an inclusivity not always seen in the era of the various hand hand-choppers of modern religions. You’re not like me? Whack!
Speaking of judging, how about the interview by Lauren Green of Fox, apparently the occupier of the Glenn Beck Chair of Philosophy at the network of fair-and-balanced?
Green was interviewing Reza Aslan, author of a new book about Jesus, called Zealot. She asked how he, as an American of Iranian descent, who is Muslim, could possibly write a book about Christianity. (He had been Christian for a time, but she did not seem to know that.)
In the official Fox judgment, this rule would disqualify Hindus from writing about Islam, Christians from writing about Judaism, and so on. Academic research and opinion, be damned. The academic was forced on the defense, to stress his degrees and past work. In Beck-ish, O’Reilly-ish tones, the Foxite asserted her position: Stick to your own kind.
The good news is that Zealot is selling very well. In appearances with Chris Hayes and others, Aslan has come off as wry, complicated and earnest. Perhaps he should have done the Fox interview with a t-shirt quoting this new Pope.
Jeff from Jersey; yes New Jersey
7/31/2013 11:55:57 am
Can you imagine Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in my opinion a mensch in his own right, wearing that kind of hat? This Jamaica High alumni says yea.
7/31/2013 02:11:08 pm
Jeff, what's a Jamaica guy doing living in NJ? You are correct: Dolan and O'Connor before him are ecumenical people. But those kind of shadings don't exist in Murdoch/Ailes land. GV
Thor A. Larsen
8/1/2013 01:03:29 am
8/1/2013 01:16:31 am
Look at this, three Jamaica High guys having a conversation.
7/31/2013 01:56:23 pm
I am reminded of my old friend Rabbi Elijah Palnick who taught religion atnthe University of Alabama in the 60s, including New Testament. It's a good thing Fox wasn't around then.
7/31/2013 02:13:27 pm
Ed, great point. But the strain existed with Fr. Coughlin in the 30's and Joe McCarthy in the 50's....GV
9/12/2013 08:33:21 pm
Ed- I am the widow of Rabbi Palnick- are you the ed martin that we were friendly with in Tuscaloosa- 1960-63. Zeke died in 2005 and I am living in Iowa City, Ia and Florida. Where are you- would love to hear from you-irene
8/1/2013 11:33:31 am
Just the other could see ourselves as we are... 'cause the mirrors always lie for us, especially on Friday and Saturday!
8/2/2013 08:19:42 am
Some input from a non-Catholic who did not attend Jamaica High.
8/2/2013 08:59:43 am
Alan, I agree with you.But this Pope has advanced the awareness of the poor and disenfranchised, and has also asked the right question about gays -- not changing any dogma or process, but asking the basic humnan question, who am I to judge? That is a welcome question. best, GV
8/7/2013 03:46:08 am
8/4/2013 03:09:43 pm
George, your article this evening analyzing Rodriguez in the most basic human terms was the best human interest story about any person, in any sport, in any age that I've read in recent memory. It captures the controversial essence of this drug-enhanced age, and all the human vulnerabilities it exposes or inflicts. I read it aloud to my wife and we have talked about it for an hour in terms of our own parenting.
8/4/2013 04:53:57 pm
8/5/2013 02:52:42 am
Thanks for noticing. I gather Garrincha was a sad tale. I still cannot believe Socrates is gone so young. I met him a few times, saw him play in 82 and 86. Who knows the future for A-Rod?
8/5/2013 02:53:36 am
Brian, thanks. Just looked up "purulent." A new word to me.
8/5/2013 03:37:34 am
errata: Sorry, I made a mistake. I think the word "unfortunately" is out of place. I wish for you all good. Have a great week, my friend.
8/5/2013 02:33:52 pm
glad Brian wrote about your column. I was too timid to go outside the box on this topic. The hero myth is revisited, young man/woman rises to great heights then falls because of a fatal character flaw. Very nice job.
8/6/2013 01:04:55 am
From Pope Francis to A-Rod! I love it. Thanks, George, for humanizing someone who is admittedly hard to like. (I also enjoyed David's piece. It suggests that my Roger Maris autograph baseball may be rising in value.) Let me just add in conclusion the question on everyone's mind: Is baseball (and all professional sports) forever undermined by drugs? Will clever chemists forever be a step or two ahead of the detectors and authorities? And is our love for the game unconditional? A topic for another day. Thanks, George.
8/6/2013 01:22:17 am
Thanks for the responses. There probably is a straight line, from the Pope's question of who can judge to my own reactions to Alex Rodriguez. In my column in the NYT, I was not trying to make excuses for him, and he does not use his missing father as an explanation for anything. It's just a fact.
8/6/2013 02:39:56 am
8/6/2013 06:10:36 am
Dear Altenir: when you adapt the script for Brazilian audiences, you must have A-Rod hitting two home runs (or scoring two goals, if you switch the sport to football). He is 38 and not the athlete he was a few years ago. Pele had the sense to move to the Cosmos when he got older. This A-Rod business is more like Fellini, the vain prince posturing in the face of disaster. E La Nave Va, or something. Ciao, GV
8/6/2013 06:31:07 am
8/6/2013 06:43:12 am
8/6/2013 06:32:52 am
8/6/2013 06:57:24 am
8/7/2013 04:00:37 am
Right on, Alan. Money is the politician's steroid. A lifetime ban with no arbitration clause might help there, too.
8/6/2013 10:32:36 am
Sportsmanship in the enhanced performance age doesn't come easy and it seems can't be expected. I recently saw reclaimed on a cable channel a 2004 movie no one saw: "Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius." He played as an amateur all his career and refused to turn pro. He famously called a penalty on himself that no one saw in the 1925 U.S. Open. His playing partner didn't think he should have called it and the judges at the end of that last round tried to talk him out of it before he signed his card. He refused and lost the Open by a single stroke. The judges congratulated him for his honesty and he replied, "You might as well congratulate a man for not robbing a bank."
8/6/2013 12:19:54 pm
Brian, I'[ve seen Martina Navratilova and Pete Sampras and others wave off the chair official on a call. Martina often patted her racket for a good shot by an opponent. Eric Young, the other day, stepped on Hudson's leg across first base, and instinctively dashed back to commiserate. Plus, I was there when Theismann's leg was broken and Lawrence Taylor waved for doctors, and would not leave until Theismann was taken off. Many athletes have a core of sportsmanship. Then an A-Rod will do something bush like slap a ball or shout at an opponent. Just doesn't get it. GV
8/7/2013 03:57:44 am
George and Brian
8/7/2013 04:16:27 am
My last comment directed to Alan's last on-target blog entry magically got misplaced by the server to appear as an attachment to to an earlier entry he made. Maybe someone in Congress didn't like Alan's contribution and decided to disrupt this blog! What do YOU think, NSA?
8/7/2013 11:14:31 am
Thank you very much for your post! Have a good day guy
Always so interesting to visit your site! Thanks!
Comments are closed.
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.