Pamela Geller Makes Herself the Victim in the Reza Aslan Controversy

gellar-620x413Pamela Geller took to her ironically-named column, Defending the West, on World Net Daily yesterday, to present herself as the real victim in Lauren Green’s botched interview with religious scholar Reza Aslan.

And of course, Reza Aslan, being Muslim, and the media, for reporting actual facts, are the enemy: the “enemedia.” Only conservatives like Fox News (presumably also Geller’s home away from home, World Net Daily as well) practice “objective journalism.”

This “enemedia,” Geller complains, “is still in an uproar over Fox News’ Lauren Green daring to question the motives of their darling of the moment, Khomeinist Reza Aslan.”

Khomeinist. Interesting term. That must mean something like “Republican” in the same way “Religious Right” is synonymous with “Taliban.”

Geller turns her special wrath to The Washington Post and Erik Wemple, for writing a piece titled, “Fox News must apologize to Reza Aslan.”

She says, “Can you imagine? This foul-mouthed, immature, subversive Aslan is fawned over on every show by everyone – and one interviewer goes off the reservation, and the enemedia lines up the firing squad.”

Because how dare anyone report anything that reveals what bigots Geller and her Muslim-hating friends are.

And of course, Geller has to pull her “poor Pamela” moment in the midst of all this and reveal to us all the persecutions leveled at her for being the mouth-breathing bigot she is:

Can you imagine what they would be doing if Reza faced one-hundredth of the negative, prosecutorial media coverage I get, and other foes of jihad get, on a routine basis? Reza would be in a towering rage, firing off f-k bombs on Twitter left and right, and the Washington Post would have to run a special section devoted to nothing but demands for apologies to him.

Imagine if this same brown-nosing treatment were accorded to friends of freedom, and not just to its enemies. Imagine the WaPo running a piece titled, “60 Minutes must apologize to Pamela Geller,” for Scott Pelley asking me if I even thought I had an obligation to tell the truth, or “CNN must apologize to Pamela Geller,” for Suzanne Malveaux’s fawning over a deceitful imam who lied about the violent passages in the Quran, and never giving me a chance to reply, or for Erin Burnett abruptly cutting off my remarks in another interview when I started telling the truth about Hamas-CAIR. Where is WaPo’s story “Russell Brand must apologize to Pamela Geller” for his planting a “protester” in his studio audience for the sole purpose of smearing me?

Poor Pamela. Nobody lets her hate without employing their First Amendment right to also have an opinion.

Yes, Pamela, you are the victim in all this, not the religious scholar who had to face an inquisition because he dared to write a scholarly examination of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. You’re not a Muslim but you write about Islam all the time. But a Muslim can’t talk about Jesus, is that it?

Her self-pity knows no bounds. The Islamophobic right-wing are nothing but innocent victims of a campaign designed to destroy Western Civilization and its gallant defender, Pamela Geller.

In Geller’s twisted world, it is “Leftists and Islamic supremacists are so used to being treated with kid gloves in interviews.” Of course, nobody is trying to seize churches from Christians and give them to those nasty leftists and Islamic supremacists. But Christians are trying to steal a mosque.

Geller takes what shots she can at Aslan, his credentials, and his scholarship, saying that the author had a “‘cringe worthy’ moment that even NPR felt pressed to correct on its website: ‘Our guest incorrectly says the first Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, contains no statement of messianic identity from Jesus. In fact, in Mark 14:62, Jesus responds affirmatively when asked if he is the Son of God.'”

Actually, that’s not true. Jesus answered that he was the “Son of Man” which is not synonymous with the “Son of God.” Jesus’ use of the term replaces the use of “I” in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). Interestingly, Jesus using the term never upset a single soul in the entire Gospel story of his life: until he ran into Caiaphas. As another scholar, Geza Vermes, puts it, Jesus’ use of “Son of Man” on nearly every occasion was like one of us saying ‘Yours Truly” instead of “I.”[1]

The simple and unequivocal fact of the matter is that the Jews did not see “Son of Man” as a religious term. Geza Vermes makes this clear:

From the completion of the Book of Daniel in the 160s B.C. to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 there is no attestation in extant Jewish literature of the use of “son of Man” as describing a religious function.[2]

Only after Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans, the very time the Gospels were being put to paper, did the term acquire the meaning of “messiah.”

Though the term appears 65 times in the Synoptics, only a few of them refer back to the vision of Daniel 7:13 that serves to give it a messianic interpretation (e.g. Mark 8:38; 13:26; 14:62). But Jewish ideas of the messiah did not imply or mean that the looked-for messiah was to be the actual son of YHWH.

So no, Jesus did not answer that he was the Son of God. He answered that he was the messiah.

What Geller will not mention is that oft-noted selectivism in interpretation of biblical passages for which right-wing Christians are so well noted. Jesus tells the High Priest in this same passage that before he (Caiaphas) dies, he would see “the Son of Man seated at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Literally, Jesus was saying, Caiaphas would live to see this.

And Jesus said this on other occasions to other people, both recorded by the author of Mark at Mark 9:1 and 13:30.

Of course, it did not happen in Caiaphas’ lifetime, or in anyone’s lifetime. It has still not happened today, 2,000 years later.

The Gospel writers did not wait long to change Jesus’ words. By the time Luke wrote his account toward the end of the first century, he was eliminating the “clouds of heaven” (because end-times fervor had died down over the intervening century of its non-occurrence) and changing the passage to read, “from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69).”

Oops. Seems to me the real scandal here is not Aslan’s scholarship but the fact that Jesus was wrong about when he’d come back. A big error by a guy who is supposed to be God.

Geller’s real cause for complaint seems to be very personal:

It’s also important to recall that Aslan blamed Robert Spencer and me for the murder of Shaima Alawadi, the California Muslim woman whose husband is now facing trial for her murder – a murder that was initially blamed on “Islamophobia” after a bogus note saying “Get out of our country, you terrorists” was found next to her body. Even after it became clear that this was not a hate crime and had nothing to do with the “anti-Muslim sentiment” that the media is so obsessed with, Aslan never backed down or apologized.

So in Geller’s world, only others must apologize, never Geller. Never a valiant defender of the West, including the bumbling and biased Lauren Green.

It seems to gall Geller that she, and not Aslan, should be the hero of the hour. Instead, “Yet he is the darling of the moment.”

So of course, the media, or “enemedia,” is to blame for this state of affairs:

This shows yet again that the media truly is the enemy. They are the ones who have no interest in telling the truth. Their making a hero out of a potty-mouthed creep like Reza Aslan, who lies about his foes and runs from any actual discussion or debate with them, is just the latest evidence of that.

In fact, the evidence suggests no such thing. The media is not pro-left, Christianity and Pamela Geller are not persecuted, and scholars, even Muslim scholars, have a right to write about Jesus of Nazareth.

The Religious Right’s whining response to their bigotry being caught-out by the media on those rare occasions it happens, seems increasingly desperate and forced, and Geller’s self-martyred whining increasingly tiresome.

Notes:

[1] Geza Vermes. The Changing Faces of Jesus (New York: Penguin, 2002).
[2] Vermes (2002), 43.

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