Thank you. I just finished reading the paperback version of your novel [Christ the Lord – Out of Egypt]. I immediately detected a Catholic flavor to your tale, which is OK. I saw it in Mel Gibson’s movie as well. What I didn’t understand was the insertion of “Arabian” mercenaries on at least two occasions. What was that all about? Why did you feel it necessary to sell the notion that Jews and Arabs were adversaries even in the first century?
I was disappointed in your endorsement of Hillary Clinton. That’s your right of course, but I was disappointed that you never discussed why you did NOT endorse Barak Obama. In fact, his name never comes up on your website. To me, Hillary Clinton is little different from her Republican rivals, while Obama seems much more at ease articulating an antiwar posture and discussing his Christian faith.
If you’re interested, I’ll send you this Baptist’s perspective on the current situation re. Islam in America. You may be surprised.
Your brother in Christ.
Anne wrote back within the hour:
My comments on the Arabs were taken from Josephus, what he describes happening during those periods. So it is based on the only primary source we have about what was going on during the turbulence in Judea and Galilee in the First Century and right before. — There might be some Roman sources, but none go into the detail, as you probably know, that we find in Josephus. — I don’t care for Barak Obama. He appears too young and inexperienced to be president. His remarks about diplomacy indicate he doesn’t fully understand why heads of state meet each other only after extensive negotiations by others in the lower ranks. His remarks about the people of New Orleans after Katrina, that they were people America had forgotten, seemed off. It was complex, the situation there, but not everybody there who appears to be poor is in fact poor. New Orleans has a distinct character. — I could go on. He doesn’t impress me. — I think Hillary will be the next president. I think she has the wisdom, the experience, and the strength. And she can get through the ring of fire now created by the media and the internet for every candidate. We can’t afford another bad candidate. Kerry and Gore were fine men but not very good candidates. I think Hillary is head and shoulders above everybody else. —- She’ll bring in top advisors, she’ll be thoughtful and patient in foreign affairs; and she’s dedicated to workable policies of social justice. I think she’s definitely the best. I hope she picks Joe Biden as her running mate, but I have a bad feeling she’s going to be stuck with Obama. He is not at all a bad man. Just young. Just not ready for the White House yet. — Thanks for writing, Anne.
I wrote her back:
A belated postscript. I read your piece several years ago, “What it means to lose New Orleans.” That was wonderful. I visited the Lower 9th Ward last winter, my first visit since Katrina, and was heartbroken. Thanks for your comments re. why you endorsed Hillary over Barak. I hear that a lot (i.e., his inexperience). Around here, there’s a lot of residual anecdotal animosity towards Hillary, remnants of her years as a rather pompous First Lady when husband Bill was Governor of Arkansas. When I remind people that William Wilberforce entered Parliament at the age of 21, and that his friend William Pitt became Prime Minister at 24, it kinda deflates their argument about the inherent superiority of seniority. Your pro-Hillary arguments actually sound a lot like the pro-Bush arguments way back when he was first running for president and I think there’s a near-universal concensus that his reign has been disastrous.
Here’s the link to my editorial that ran this week: http://www.missionmeeting.org/flummery/ — it was the first time in a decade of writing to newspapers that I have felt vaguely threatened. A man with a voice that sounded like it was right out of the movie “Sling Blade” called me up and, after confirming that it I who had written the article, asked me if I was a Muslim. When I asked him why he thought that, he responded, “Well, why would you defend THEM if you’re not a Muslim?”
I am indeed familiar with Josephus, but think that some of what he writes needs to be taken with a grain of salt. He wasn’t exactly reporting for the BBC or Wall Street Journal. I did appreciate what you had to say about the controversy over why the destruction of Palestine (not just Jerusalem) is never mentioned in the New Testament. I’ve never gotten a good explanation of that from the camp that thinks the Gospels and letters weren’t compiled and circulated as a collective whole until well after the Diaspora.