Comparative Martyrology

Print More

Perpetual.jpgAnent Sarah Palin’s claim of blood libel and the Washington Timeseditorializing about an “ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers,” Michael Sean Winters astutely asks, “Why is it that conservatives have a fetish for identifying their so-called ‘persecution’ with the
persecution, the real persecution, without quotation marks, of the Jews?”

The answer, perhaps, is that just as early Christians christened themselves the “true Israel,” so latter-day Christian conservatives like to think of themselves as Jews when they feel persecuted. I guess this is the Judeo-Christian cross we Jews have to bear.

Or maybe not. Winters suggests leaving the Jews out of it and just saying that Palin was thrown to the lions: “Why should Christians be denied a share in the sufferings of Sarah?”

Why indeed? To be sure, the first Christian martyrs did tend to treat their persecutors in the spirit of Jesus’ words on the Cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” That’s not exactly the Palinesque approach. Yet the right-wing thirst for victimhood does mirror the  eagerness with which those thrown to the lions embraced their fate. For the “blood” of these “martyrs” is the seed of the conservative movement.

  • Mild disagreements:
    Thinking of themselves as Jews is about the last thing on the mind of latter-day Christian conservatives. One example at
    “the right-wing thirst for victimhood does mirror the eagerness with which those thrown to the lions embraced their fate.” Not exactly. Wingers aren’t eager to BE victims, they are eager to SAY they are victims. The smaller the offense, the louder the cries.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    It is amazing how a map with targets on it–the same as maps put out by Democrats, but with different targets– gets forgotten by the media in its zeal to attack Palin.
    And I found it very instructive that Alan Dershowitz, no right-winger he, apparently told the media that he has used the phrase “blood libel” similar to the way Palin has. But he never got dumped on for it the way she has.
    We now know the shooter was a nut–pure and simple. He had his favorite writers, people, and ideas on both sides of the political extremes. But NY Times writers such as Paul Krugman and some elected Democrats, such as the sheriff from Arizona were slandering Palin and other conservatives within a few hours-or was it minutes- of the attack.
    And for 5 days Palin kept a respectful silence while during that time she began to be attacked for guilt by silence. Then she finally defends herself and she gets media gang attacked for that.
    Meanwhile the left’s and Democrat’s vicious, rotten , nasty, vituperative attacks on President Bush get conveniently forgotten and unmentioned. They even forget the left’s cheering of a movie virtually advocating the assasination of President Bush.

  • Edward Dougherty

    I have to disagree with Deacon Bresnahan. The Democrats’ map (as distasteful as using gun targets is) did not mention any candidates by name. Ms. Palin’s specifically mentioned Ms. Giffords and was cited by her right as something that caused her fear. Mr. Loughmer may well have never heard of the map but it is absurd to at least not raise the question.
    I’d also like to know of the movie that he believes advocated President Bush’s assassination. Was this movie ever investigated by the Secret Service (I must confess I’m not a movie goer so I may need some help on this).

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    On your first point–Talk about ridiculously splitting hairs. The intent of each map was the same: targeting opponents for defeat–a time-honored political strategy used by all political parties probably going back to before the Federalists and the Whigs.
    As for the movie–the most famous of the anti- Bush left-wing hate productions is called “Death of a President.” (2006) Go to Google–there are 38,400 sites listed about this sick movie.
    There you can find left-liberal after
    left-liberal defending the barbarous incitement to hatred movie and conservatives warning that it was a “new low in Bush hatred.” and promoting an “assassination chic” culture that we would all later regret.
    BUT through all the outpouring of media venting on the issue of a “climate of violence” that led to Tucson only once did a see mention of the left’s hyper-hatred of President Bush mentioned.
    It is as if the left’s sins of white hot hatred of President Bush had slid down George Orwell’s memory hole in 1984.

  • Edward Dougherty

    I would respond to the good deacon that the targeting of political opponents for defeat has probably never included a map showing the opponent’s district along with a gunsight right next to the opponent’s name.
    Look, we don’t know if Jared Loughner ever saw this map. And no one is accusing Ms. Palin of wanting Ms. Giffords to have been hurt. However, we do know that it scared Ms. Giffords enough for her to speak up on it. And then, after Ms. Giffords was shot, I don’t think it would have been out of line for Ms. Palin to ask least question her use of such a map while denying any direct wish to have Ms. Giffords, or anyone else, injured. The fact that she did not do this really causes me to question her judgement on this issue.
    As for the movie the good deacon cites to show the Left’s (whoever that is) hatred of President Bush, I’ve never heard of it. So I can’t think that it must have had too much of an impact because, as I said, I would have imagined the Secret Service would have had something to say about it. However, it could also be that I don’t get out much.