Amina Abdallah’s reported abduction in Syria two days ago has opened up a whole series of unexpectedly baffling questions. It is understandable that someone in her situation would have to protect her identity as best she could, but that identity seems to have disappeared into a hall of mirrors. Ms. Abdallah, who blogs as “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” gained international attention in April when she reported in great detail evading arrest by Syrian security forces. She has since become a leading voice of resistance as the Assad regime brutally puts down the popular uprising against it. Now it appears that Abdallah’s identity cannot be independently confirmed. The Guardian wanders into the maze here.
The photo we posted yesterday (since taken down) is now known not to be her, even though the woman depicted in it has appeared in a number of different photographs that have been widely published for some time. That woman is in fact a resident of London and apparently has no relation to Abdallah.
What’s wrong with this picture? Is it Fox News providing extensive coverage of Sarah Palin’s allegedly non-political-I’m-just-vacationing-with-my-family-and-a-hundred-reporters-in-tow bus tour? No, that’s not it.
Nope, it’s that the photo Fox News producers chose to display in the sidebar is not Sarah Palin.
It’s Tina Fey.
And is that a “blue eyed” “blonde” we see there reading the “news”? It’s sweet that Fox News aggressively promotes this otherwise overlooked cohort of “journalism school” grads who major in hair flipping, fashion accessorizing, shouting down guests who deviate from talking points, and, of course, free form smirking as circumstances require. It’s made cable news what it is today.
We’ll be posting Frye on Christianity and laissez faire capitalism shortly, but we’re holding back a little because relevant material seems to be coming at us from all directions. Our friend Matthew, for example, has sent us a link to an article at religiousintelligence.com, “Why Evanglicals Hate Jesus.”
Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one’s money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation’s poor — especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of “socialism,” even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training — anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.