The Christian Paradox

There are two good features in Harper’s Magazine this month. Bill McKibben’s “The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong” is excerpted on the web site. It seems to pull some punches, but still gets the important points across:

It’s hard to imagine a con much more audacious than making Christ the front man for a program of tax cuts for the rich or war in Iraq. If some modest part of the 85 percent of us who are Christians woke up to that fact, then the world might change.

And Mark Crispin Miller has a good summary of John Conyer’s report What Went Wrong in Ohio, and the media blackout on its findings:

The Boston Globe gave the report 118 words (page 3); the Los Angeles Times, 60 words (page 18);. It made no news in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, or US News & World Report. it made no news on CBS, NBC, ABC, or PBS. Nor did NPR report it (though Talk of the Nation dealt with it on January 6). CNN did not report it, though Donna Brazile pointedly affirmed its copious “evidence” on Inside Politics on January 6. (Judy Woodruff failed to pause for an elaboration.) Also on that date, the Fox News Channel briefly showed Conyers himself discussing “irregularities” in Franklin County, though it did not mention the report. He was followed by Tom DeLay, who assailed the Democrats for their “assault against the institutions of our representative democracy.” The New York Times negated both the challenge and the documents in a brief item headlined “Election Results to be Certified, with Little Fuss from Kerry,” which ran on page 16 and ended with this quote from Dennis Hastert’s office, vis-‘a-vis the Democrats: “They are really just trying to stir up their loony left.”

I have a copy of Conyer’s book, but can’t read more than a few pages at a time, many days apart, with circular breathing exercises immediately after each exposure.

At $6.50 newstand price, Harper’s is making itself non-habit-forming. But this is a good issue to pick up for full access to those articles. (I subscribe every 5 years or so, seduced by the $12.97 introductory subscription price, but then the issues start piling up alongside my hundreds of partially-read or unread books, and I discontinue. But let’s face it, it’s worth that price for the monthly Harper’s Index alone.)

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