RepMan is taking some time off to go climb some mountain- you know how he is… so this week will be full of guest posts. Today’s is by Peppercommer Cat Cody. (signed, The Danderoo)
I love drama. I also love books. So, when I perused a Time Magazine feature about Reza Aslan’s, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” and the positive uproar it had caused in Christian circles, I simply had to buy it.
I’m only 30 pages in so far, but am absolutely absorbed by all things Jesus, the villages of Bethlehem and Nazareth and ancient Jerusalem itself. So, when Rep Man clued me in to Fox’s Lauren Green embarrassingly biased attack interview of Aslan, I had to watch the crucifixion myself.
Green’s first, and pretty much only, question during Aslan’s 10 minute interview was, “Why would a Muslim write about the founder of Christianity?” Despite her patronizing badgering, Aslan never once lost his cool, and continually repeated his key message: “I am a scholar of religion with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, who has been studying the origin of Christianity for two decades, who just happens to be writing about Jesus.”
Had Lauren Green bothered to read even the first few pages, nay paragraphs, of the book, she would have known of Aslan’s impressive religious knowledge. In fact, Aslan actually converted to Christianity at age 15, and spread his new found love for Jesus to his mother. Only after realizing the inaccuracies in the bible did Aslan decide to study religion. He’s now a Muslim but, as he told Green, ‘I’m a religion scholar writing a book about Jesus who just happens to be a Muslim. I’ve also written books about many other major religions. It’s my job.’
How positively amateurish for Lauren Green to criticize an author, and his book, on national television before even reading it!
I’m a lapsed Catholic with no strong feelings about any organized religion, but I do respect Aslan’s impeccable credentials.
Clearly, the critics who are bashing Aslan for being a Muslim who is writing about Christianity are narrow-minded to the Nth degree. Such myopia would be akin to bashing Margaret Mitchell for being a New Yorker who had the gall to write about the antebellum South in “Gone with the Wind.”
It doesn’t matter where an author calls home or what god he chooses to worship (or not worship at all). What matters is the academic integrity of the manuscript. You can’t judge a book by its cover (or an author by someone else’s reviews).