September 25, 2008
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments today on news reports that an African minister once asked God to protect Sarah Palin from witchcraft:
“In 2005, Sarah Palin went to church and found that a visiting minister from Kenya, Bishop Thomas Muthee, was doing the service. He offered a prayer asking Jesus to keep her free from ‘every form of witchcraft.’ Palin said nothing—she simply kept her head bowed throughout the blessing. Why this is newsworthy is one issue, but why it has quickly become the subject of scorn is another.
“For the past two decades, Americans have been lectured by educators and the chattering class that we must respect cultural, religious, racial and ethnic diversity. It seems that exceptions to the creed of multiculturalism are only made when it suits the ideological agenda of the left. Enter Keith Olbermann: He exploited this incident last night as a club to paint Palin as an extremist. Moreover, he used this single blessing to unfavorably contrast the African minister to Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The MSNBC commentator incredibly said that Wright—who spewed hate speech before Obama for 20 years—‘seems pretty mainstream’ by comparison.
“Witchcraft is a sad reality in many parts of Africa, resulting in scores of deaths in Kenya over the past two decades. Bishop Muthee’s blessing, then, was simply a reflection of his cultural understanding of evil. While others are not obliged to accept his interpretation, all can be expected to respect it. More than that—Muthee should be hailed for asking God to shield Palin from harmful forces, however they may be manifested. And for this he is mocked and Palin ridiculed?
“We know that many cultural elites have a hard time embracing religion, but is it too much to ask that they at least show some manners when discussing subjects which most Americans hold dear?”
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Source: Catholic League
Jewish history supplies us with the term "blood libel." Some of the allegations about this whole incident amount to just that: A blood libel.
I never thought of that term in light of this story, but it works. Thanks, Fr. Hart.
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