Jewish World Review March 7, 2000 /30 Adar I, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- THE NEW YORK TIMES is in a lather about presidential candidate George W. Bush having spoken at Bob Jones University. It seems the beliefs of the fundamentalist Christians who run BJU are -- not to put too fine a point on it -- at odds with the editorial positions of the New York Times. If that's not enough to make your blood boil, well, then you are not a John McCain supporter.
The private beliefs of the fundamentalists at Bob Jones University include an opposition to interracial dating. (They don't allow much dating of any sort, actually -- BJU dictates chaperoned dating, no pop music, no coed dorms and a rigid dress code.)
Just incidentally, despite the ritualistic denunciations of this policy, it does not "discriminate" against blacks. There are plenty of minorities at BJU. It just happens that no one -- black, white or anything else -- is allowed to engage in interracial dating, on the basis of the founder's interpretation of the Tower of Babel story in the Book of Genesis. Now on the basis of my own Christian views, I don't have a problem with interracial dating. But it's a big country; there's room for all sorts of interpretations.
Of course, if you read Ebony magazine or go to Spike Lee movies you know that hostility to interracial relationships is not really so idiosyncratic, after all. It evidently has adherents well beyond fundamentalist Christians at BJU.
One Ebony magazine article on the topic -- chosen at random -- began: "In the midst of all of O.J. Simpson's legal and career problems, what seems to bother Black women the most is the fact that Nicole Brown Simpson was white." The article went on to boast cheerfully of the many prominent black men married to black women: "Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Spike Lee, David Justice, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, Gen. Colin Powell, Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown and members of the Congressional Black Caucus."
It seems that if one's private beliefs in opposition to interracial dating are based on ethnic pride -- black ethnic pride, anyway -- in contradistinction to religious conviction, no one gets all bent out of shape about it. But woe to the fundamentalists at BJU and their quirky little beliefs.
The private beliefs held by the fundamentalist Christians at BJU also include a somewhat critical view of other religions, including Catholicism. The university's founder ("Bob Jones"), a popular evangelical preacher in the South at the turn of the century, reportedly called Catholicism a "satanic cult." It's not clear why The New York Times is so testy about that. Until now, the entire elite media have pretty much taken it for granted that Catholicism is a satanic cult. And that's when they're being nice.
Indeed, The New York Times has never uttered a harsh word about Hollywood depicting Catholic priests as Brownshirt pederasts, or Christ as a homosexual pantywaist. They weren't in a frothing rage about the "Sensation" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, which displayed a picture of the Virgin Mary amid a collage of vagina cutouts from pornographic magazines. And just a few years back the Times was delightedly sneering at Catholics for their bourgeois objections to the government paying some guy to submerge a crucifix in urine.
But the now-deceased founder of a small, unobtrusive Christian college in the South allegedly called Catholicism a cult -- about half a century ago -- and suddenly no one at the Times can sleep at night.
As a general matter, the Times has never really grasped the concept of religious belief and is, therefore, perennially offended by all religions for being "exclusionary." The problem with the Times' indignation is that -- pay strict attention here -- all religions believe theirs is the true one. Any religion that doesn't claim to believe its creed is the truth isn't a religion; it's a feel-good, self-help group.
What exactly is George W. Bush supposed to do? Should he speak to Catholics and reprimand them for having the audacity to believe all that gobbledygook about the Holy Eucharist? (And for discriminatorily refusing to make females priests or males nuns?) Appear before Presbyterians and harangue them for believing that the only path to salvation is through Christ? (And for inventing the concept of the "ladies' tee"?)
Poor little Bob Jones University has been the bete noire of liberal elites for at least three decades now. Earnest religionists drive The New York Times to distraction. There are probably some millenarian sects living by a river someplace that the Times is hopping mad about, too.
Now that George W. Bush has apologized for speaking to Bob Jones University without
rebuking them, it's well past time for him to apologize for speaking to The New York Times
without once rebuking
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
03/03/00: Vast concoction