A rainy open line: With some political and religious reading recommendations | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A rainy open line: With some political and religious reading recommendations

Posted By on Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 4:48 PM

  • New York Times

Here's the open line. And since not much else is going on, some reading recommendations:

* PANTS ON FIRE: All politicians lie, right? Or exaggerate. Or misspeak. Or something. But some do it more than others. Good read in NY Times opinion section today from a Politifact fact-checker on the incidence of lying among their fact-checks of presidential candidate statements. On the whole, Republicans are less dependable than Democrats. Donald Trump and Ben Carson lead the pack as factually challenged. Trump, said the writer, is "astonishingly poor," which is a commentary on the faith-based electorate that gives him a lead in most primary polls.

* HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW RELIGION?: Nicholas Kristof posed a round of religion questions in his column today.  Example:

Which religious leader said he came to bring “not peace but the sword”?

Moses, in the Bible’s Book of Exodus

Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew

Muhammad, in the Quran

You know where this is headed, of course. Kristof admits to cherry-picking to toy with those making broad pronouncements about Islam's supposed incompatibility with our "Christian nation." This is akin to the viral Facebook post (also embedded here) on Dutch pranksters who asked people their reaction to learning that unsettling passages they read were not, as they were told, from the Koran but actually from the Bible.

Every religion and political and interest group has its extremists, of course. Speaking of which, I sent a link to that Kristof column to Sen. Jason Rapert, who's endorsed a ban on entry of Muslims into the U.S. He responded by quoting Franklin Graham on Islam. If he doesn't know, who does?

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