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Blog Archive/July 2008

July 28, 2008

Slipping Through the Cracks

The Jerusalem seminary student who snatched the private prayer Barack Obama inserted in a crack in that holiest of holy sites in Jerusalem, the Western, or "Wailing" Wall, might have had a prayer--until he sold it to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv and then had to confess and apologize for his unscrupulous action.

If they erected a Limbo Stick for the media, to see who could go the lowest, Ma'ariv would surely cop the honors, for printing what was supposed to be a supplication meant only for God's ears and eyes.

Ma'ariv's unprincipled behavior "damages the personal, deep part of every one of us that we keep to ourselves," Shmuel Rabinovitz, the rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, told Jerusalem's Army Radio. "The notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall are between a person and his maker. It is forbidden to read them or make any use of them."

Oh well. To everyone who's up in arms, screaming, "Is nothing sacred?" the obvious answer is, "Since when?" Since when have words like decency, integrity, and morality been associated with the media? You'd have to go back to olden times, when Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and other patriarchs of the press bound themselves to ancient rituals like upholding the honor of the people, treating public figures with respect, and living as credits to their calling.  

That said, the issue of Obama's stolen prayer apparently isn't as black and white as we'd like to believe. Ma'ariv had its own version of the story. "Obama's note was published in Ma'ariv and other international publications following Obama's authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since Obama is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the Western Wall."

Let the pot shots begin! Everything about the incident gets more and more suspicious. Why haven't Obama and his spokespeople responded to that allegation? At the time of the writing of this blog, no one from the Obama camp had either confirmed or denied that their candidate had the crassness to broadcast his communication with the Almighty--or even, for that matter, that the prayer in question was his. And why had the original culprit, our enterprising little seminary student, made a public confession and apology if the rat was Obama himself?

As to that snotty comment that since Obama wasn't Jewish, he wasn't entitled to privacy--well, the rabbis couldn't agree less. According to Jewish law, the prayers of Gentiles as well as Jews are honored by God and accorded the same privacy rights at the Wall. To suggest otherwise is not only ignorant, it's downright insulting. Shame on you, Ma'ariv!

And after all this, just what was this prayer that had the world's ears burning and tongues blazing?

"Lord--Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will."

That's all? Yawn! How uncontroversial can you get? If anything, the simple, humble note is the best press in the world for the Senator of Illinois. Hmm. Draw your own conclusions on that one.

--Submitted by Mary Beth Crain

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

July 11, 2008

Pass the Verbal Immodium--to Jesse Jackson

Jackson takes his place in the lengthening line of pseudo-religious blowhards who seem to have no sense of decorum, propriety or discretion, let alone humility. While poor Obama has to deal with him and Wright, over on the other end of God's little acre, John McCain has had the embarrassing task of disassociating himself from his self-proclaimed spiritual guides, the deadly pastoral duo of Hagee and Parsley, whose anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim bellowing went just a bit overboard. How low can these reckless reverends go? As low as the devil can burrow in a pile of doo-doo in hell, it seems.

Read Mary Beth Crain's Jesse Jackson's Gaffe.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

July 9, 2008

The Wedding Watcher

"I appreciate the less tangible benefits of being an in-the-wings wedding watcher. These passing glimpses of major milestones in the lives of people I do not know become magical touch points in my own. I laugh each time I'm headed home with a car full of groceries and cranky kids and see a waiting limo or antique jalopy with 'Just Married' scrawled in shaving cream on the rear window. Just married indeed. That's me. That's many of us. Welcome to the 'just' club."

Read Stephanie Hunt's Just Married.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

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