July 24, 2017

American Thinker Opens a Can of Worms - How Well Will It Be Handled?

Jack Kemp

Deputy Editor Drew Belsky (I believe he is Catholic) rips another AT writer,Ryan Walters, who yesterday tried to lionize Luther and denigrate Catholicism.

When I took World History in my private school at age 13-14, I didn't learn that Luther 1) was an antisemite 2) had an affair with a nun he seduced and that some Popes of that era had been denouncing the selling of indulgences.

The more I learn, the more two rock n' roll song lyrics are proven true:

"When the truth is found to be lies, and all within you dies" - Somebody to Love by the Jefferson Airplane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUbMWtUyIIE

"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all" - Kodachrome by Paul Simon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggPkZ6iEGW8

If you haven't read it already, here's the link to the AT article by Drew Belsky and some quotes



Walters's is a piece about speaking truth to power, about a voice in the wilderness confronting an evil institution. The problem is that Walters tries to skip the theological substance of the Protestant revolt, begs the question on what's true, and thus pulls a false god called "personal interpretation" out of Pandora's Box.

Walters paints an bleak 16th century, where "conventional wisdom was not a politically correct moral relativism, but the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church." (This is portrayed as bad.) He equates the Church of medieval times with the P.C. leftist thought police of today and extols Martin Luther for speaking "for truth [sic] at a time when truth [sic] could cost him his life."

If one really wants to glorify Martin Luther, a generalized "bold reformer" archetype is about all there is to work with. The man has little to boast of in character, temperament, or exegesis. He, an Augustinian monk, claimed that Jesus Christ Himself was guilty of fornication (see "Tischreden" from the Weimar edition of Luther's works) and that "t is not in opposition to the Holy Scriptures for a man to have several wives." "To kill a peasant is not murder," he said, when the logical conclusions of his catechesis spurred the peasants to popular revolt. "Let whoever can [do it] stab, strangle, and kill them like mad dogs." Of the Jews he said, "

hey are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury." His hacking out seven books of the Old Testament was based on a Bible canon dreamed up by a possibly fictional council of Jews, those thieves and robbers, that occurred after the foundation of apostolic Christianity, where authority to determine the composition of the Christian Bible should naturally lie. (Also, he didn't like longstanding Church doctrines on purgatory, the institutional priesthood, and good works, so 1 and 2 Macabbees, the epistle to the Hebrews [!], and the epistle of James [!!], respectively, were put on the chopping block.)


When J.R. Dunn attacked me in private emails (I have the copies still) for objecting to a quote in an AT piece he approved for publication that said using B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) was "silly," I pointed that the term is used by not only atheists, but Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. I could have pointed out that the term B.C.E. was "devised by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus in the year 525" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Era#Origins ; and is in common usage (no pun intended) by academics across the U.S., if not the entire world. B.C. (Before Christ) and its partner A.D. (Anno Domini - In the Year of Our Lord) are clearly Christian terms. American Thinker did not give me a public AT platform to debate J.R. Dunn on his idea of "winning friends and influenceing people" by pretending that a significant part of the world's - and growing part of America's - population that isn't believing Christians - also reads American Thinker and is somehow not worthy of consideration or respect. I would have searched for the historic and intellectual points I highlight here in my exchanges with Dunn, but it was clear to me that I was arguing with a beligerant person one might meet on a street corner or in a mob, so I saw no reason as to bring up the facts mentioned in the earlier part of this paragraph. It was a barely controlled exchange between two people having great contempt for one another.

Although American Thinker years ago gave me a public blog post forum when I debated Ethel Fenig as she claimed that placing a cross in a federal park in La Jolla, California, was a violation of the seperaton of church and state and pointed out such things as the cross on the Swedish flag and the Star of David on the Israeli flag (something practicing Jew Ethel Fenig presumably doesn't object to having, as fellow Jew myself do not). But now Drew Belsky, an Amer. Thinker Deputy Editor with Christian and Catholic and intellectual credentials, has taken on a poorly thought out piece by Ryan Walters. This may be leading to a great public rift among current American Thinker writers. Not that that hasn't happened before.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:13 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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