Sunday, May 21, 2006

the tangled Webb we weave - Part 2, "Anti-Christ"

Part 2. Vincent suggests that the furor over Webb calling Miller "the anti-Christ of outsourcing" is little more than political correctness gone awry:

Lets be honest here..We ALL know George Allen would destroy Miller, and Republicans who want Allen to win are bashing Webb to make Miller look better..

but bashing Webb for his out of context “anti-Christ” comment is ridiculous.

CC, Shaun Kenny, and others are making WebbÂ’s comments out to seem pre-meditated.

We all know he didn't mean to slam the guy on being Jewish.

Lets get over it, and focus on issues.

My previous post dealt with whether Webb was a bigger threat. In this post I'll address the "anti-christ" issue.

Webb certainly used the quote in a pre-meditated fashion, he had it highlighted in papers he brought with him to the debate. So the only unknown is if Webb INTENDED to attack Miller for being Jewish.

But first, whether Miller was Jewish or not, calling someone the “anti-christ” is unprofessional, and beneath the dignity of one seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate. Of course people say the wrong things all the time in the heat of the moment, but Webb used this word purposefully.

The "anti-christ" is the greatest evil this world will ever see. Next to the anti-christ, Hitler was a humanitarian, Pol Pot was a saint, and Stalin a freedom-fighter. Most politicians know not to directly call someone "Hitler" -- "Anti-christ" is much worse.

Further "Anti-Christ" is a religious term, and to misuse it is to show a lack of understanding of the name's religious significance.

Second, Throughout history some Christians have attacked Jews for “killing christ”, and being “against christ”. This issue was debated extensively with the release of the Mel Gibson movie “The Passion of Christ”.

So whenever someone uses the term "anti-christ" in reference to a person of the Hebrew faith, the history requires us to explore whether the reference was "jew-bashing".

Vincent says "we all know" Webb wasn't attacking Miller's faith. But remember that Webb did NOT initiate this claim — he was quoting someone else. That someone else could well have chosen the word because Miller was jewish. Jews are often wrongly blamed for other people's economic misfortune -- the Shakespearean play "The Merchant of Venice" features Shylock, "a stereotypical caricature of a cruel, money-obsessed medieval Jew", taking advantage of the good Christian Antonio.

We cannot know a person's motives, but the phrase apparently came from a Union endorsement letter. A "Raising Kaine" commenter suggested the phrase came from THIS ARTICLE, but that article uses the term "antichrist" in a different way: "aka the Antichrist if you're an unemployed IT worker". In any case, it could be that the original author did NOT know Miller was Jewish, but it would fit the historical pattern if it were known. Given that another Webb supporter was found the next day noting that Miller "did not attend church", it seems his Jewish heritage was known and was a source for negative attacks.

Further supporting this is the fact that the phrase "Antichrist of outsourcing" is nonsensical. Normally you might call Miller “The King of outsourcing”, or the prince, or the master, or the big kahuna, or some other word denoting the greatest of the bunch.

But the AntiChrist will be no real king of anything, and rather will destroy all he surveys. If Miller was the “Antichrist of outsourcing”, he would be destroying it, not facilitating it.

On another level, it is offensive to bring religion into the topic of out-sourcing — are we saying Jesus would be opposed to sending our money and jobs to places where they make lives better for thousands of people less fortunate than ourselves?

Webb either knew what he was doing, or not. If he did not, you must believe that Webb read “anti-\christ of outsourcing”, and thought it was the perfect quote to use in the debate. That means he had no clue that the term “antichrist” was inappropriate. It’s hard to imagine he could be that out-of-touch, but either way, it is not to his credit.

Last year Senator Salazar (D-Col) called the Focus on the Family people “the anti-christs”. At least he used the term correctly — he was trying to say that their actions were HINDERING christ’s work on this earth, rather than helping.
He apologized.

So, is Miller an opponent of Jesus Christ? that is what “anti-christ” means. Look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find this:
  1. An enemy of Christ.Antichrist
  2. The epithet of the great antagonist who was expected by the early Church to set himself up against Christ in the last days before the Second Coming.
  3. A false Christ.

As you can see, none of those definitions makes any sense in the context of outsourcing.

But worse, calling a jewish person “the enemy of christ” brings up the entire “jews killed jesus” argument.

So, is Webb insensitive, or did he or his campaign think it would help to subtlely remind people that Miller is Jewish, and therefore no friend of Christ?

I think he was just insensitive to the mis-use of religious symbolism. But he SHOULD have known. And he should have apologized. And his supporters shouldn't be attacking MILLER for being slandered in this way -- but the democrats, always on the seamy side of politics, are going after Miller with a vengence, the devil be damned.

As Lowell over at Raising Kaine said:

More to the point, perhaps the following definition is more what labor unions mean when they call Harris Miller the "antichrist of outsourcing:"

In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist has come to mean a person, image of a person, or other entity that is the embodiment of evil and utterly opposed to truth, while convincingly disguised as wholly good and a bringer of truth.

Yeah, sure sounds like ol' Harris Miller to me!

Well. Harris Miller -- the embodiment of evil. That's going to be hard to reel back in if Miller wins the primary.


thegools said...

This is unconfirmed:

George Allen to Endorse Harris Miller for Senate!!!!

Howling Latina said...

A reasonable post, for a conservative.

Are you sure you truly are?!?

I mean, I can see supporting Davis and his lovely bride. But Allen?!

Just to let you know that this rabid lefty, doesn't HATE all Republicans.

From a rabid lefty who was once a registered Republican.

Joe Budzinski said...

Hard to reel back in is right. On the other hand, hard for the Allen to make any hay out of because it's one of those epithets that's hard to weave into an attractive TV commercial.

"He called his opponent 'the anti-christ'...Is that the kind of man Virginia needs in the U.S. Senate?"

Maybe it could work.