St. Ni­cholas picks a bone with Christ on Christ­mas

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY CHARLES HURT ● Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com; fol­low him on Twit­ter via @charleshurt.

Just imag­ine it is one of the holi­est days of the Mus­lim cal­en­dar and The New York Times de­cides to “cel­e­brate” the oc­ca­sion by ask­ing in­cred­u­lous ques­tions aimed at oblit­er­at­ing the very foun­da­tion of the en­tire religion of Is­lam.

Was Muham­mad re­ally a prophet?

Did he re­ally pray with Je­sus, Abra­ham and Moses, all of whom lived hun­dreds and hun­dreds of years be­fore Muham­mad was born?

Did Muham­mad re­ally as­cend into heaven from the Dome of the Rock at the Tem­ple Mount in Jerusalem, ac­com­pa­nied by the an­gel Gabriel?

Per­haps the Old Gray Lady sim­ply fears for her life and does not want her shiny glass lou­vered build­ing off Times Square re­duced to rub­ble. You re­mem­ber — “Je suis Char­lie” and all that? Per­haps The New York Times be­lieves it is wrong to ques­tion the teach­ings of Is­lam, es­pe­cially on a day that is revered by Mus­lims around the world.

What­ever her prej­u­dices, she cer­tainly has no such qualms about un­load­ing on Chris­tian­ity on one of the most cel­e­brated days of the Chris­tian year.

On Christ­mas Day this Sun­day, The New York Times took the sa­cred op­por­tu­nity of Je­sus Christ’s birth to in­ter­view a Chris­tian and ba­si­cally pick apart the en­tire religion.

Of course, as if the Ser­pent him­self were con­duct­ing the in­ter­view, the ques­tions were slyly adorned with lur­ing com­pli­ments.

“I deeply ad­mire Je­sus and his mes­sage,” colum­nist Ni­cholas Kristof wheezed, “but am also skep­ti­cal of themes that have been in­te­gral to Chris­tian­ity.”

Af­ter all, how many times have you been sit­ting in church on Christ­mas Eve and heard some­one say, “You know, I won­der what Ni­cholas Kristof thinks about Chris­tian­ity”?

Mr. Kristof’s Christ­mas mes­sage to his read­ers re­veals that he does not be­lieve Christ is the son of God, doesn’t be­lieve in the Res­ur­rec­tion and doesn’t be­lieve that God per­forms mir­a­cles.

OK, fine. It’s a free coun­try. Be­lieve what­ever you want.

But then the guy goes on in his Christ­mas col­umn to ask this the­olo­gian he is in­ter­view­ing whether — de­spite not be­liev­ing in the fun­da­men­tals of the Chris­tian religion — one could still be con­sid­ered a Chris­tian. Kind of like in­vest­ing in the stock mar­ket with­out ac­tu­ally putting up any money. Or join­ing a club you op­pose and then re­fus­ing to pay the dues.

We are talking here about a ques­tion so stupid that — lit­er­ally — the sim­plest child in Sun­day School would not ask it. Yet, here is this vaunted ge­nius opin­ing in the au­gust pages of the na­tion’s most revered news­pa­per.

Mr. Kristof, it should be noted, was once a widely re­spected for­eign cor­re­spon­dent. Un­til, that is, he was re­called to the news­room to re­port ex­haus­tive dis­patches from his navel. And spend Christ­mas dump­ing all over the Chris­tian faith.

Now, if you ask me, the­olo­gians are not too far re­moved from the in­suf­fer­able clois­tered scribes of the na­tion’s great­est news­pa­per.

The whole pro­fes­sion of the­ol­ogy is just proof that the fee­ble­ness of man’s abil­ity to rea­son is out­matched only by his tow­er­ing sel­f­re­gard, which is un­de­served.

But this fel­low whom Mr. Kristof was in­ter­view­ing for Christ­mas, Ti­mothy Keller, an­swered in what I thought was a very sen­si­ble and even Chris­tian way.

He was very nice and gen­tle and wel­com­ing, but he told Mr. Kristof that if, in fact, you don’t ac­tu­ally be­lieve in Chris­tian­ity, then, no, you are not ex­actly a Chris­tian.

But, Mr. Keller said, fear not, there’s still time to turn things around if you change you mind.

All of Chris­tian­ity will now pause and wait for Mr. Kristof to think things over and see what he wants to do about be­com­ing a Chris­tian. Mean­while, he is work­ing on his Easter Sun­day col­umn in which he asks: “Ob­vi­ously, the whole crown of thorns and Cru­ci­fix­ion and Res­ur­rec­tion were what we to­day call ‘fake news,’ but can I still take Com­mu­nion?”

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