(Title based on a quote by Andrew Sullivan)
On August 31st televangelist Bill Keller will insult his last Muslim (or Mormon) on the CBS affiliate station in Tampa Florida, WTOG-TV. He’s being forced to move on.
Who’s to blame for the termination of this fiery, shock-and awe, God-Smacking preacher’s four year relationship with WTOG and CBS? Most of the news reports are either blaming or giving credit to (depending on their editorial leanings) the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It was their letter to CBS that got ‘the guillotine oiled’ and Keller’s ‘neck in the chopping block.’
On the other hand, it was CBS who made the decision to ‘release the blade’ and ‘send Keller’s head rolling,’ after a successful four-year relationship, based on nothing more than that complaint from that offended minority group. (What does that tell us about the power of Islam over our media!)
Then again, Bill Keller certainly shares the blame for his own very temporary demise by being an irresponsible spokesman for the Christian religion. I say irresponsible based solely on news accounts, having never seen his show. If, however, what is being reported is true, I’d say irresponsible is a lenient charge.
According to CAIR’s letter to CBS, as reported by several news sources (and verified by Keller himself), Bill Keller made the following remarks on air, on May 2, 2007:
“Islam is a 1,400-year-old lie from the pits of hell. It’s leading a billion peoples [sic] to hell … those who follow this false religion will die and be lost for all eternity. The false religion of Islam is about hate, lies and death.”
Well I guess he told them! He told them either what he thinks and fervently believes or what he thinks he followers want to hear; and it may all be true! He also told everyone who heard those words (and other similar diatribes on many other occasions) that his own brand of religion is based more on hate and fear mongering than it is on faith or on Christian principles.
When you consider that Islam is the religion of many millions of people and that only a very, very few of them would even consider the atrocities that are committed in their God’s name by radical Muslims, you begin to realize that this type of rhetoric coming from a supposed spokesman for the Christian religion does NOTHING but inflame sensitivities. It tends to pit Christianity against Islam without giving recognition to the fact that, like everything else in life, people are the problem — in this case a relatively few Muslims; if there is some good in that I fail to see it!
Don’t feel sorry however for any of the parties involved: CBS and WTOG have lost a show that was not on until 1:00 am and, due to that hour probably had a very low viewership; CAIR has won a short-lived victory over the hate-spewing preacher Keller, and Keller is off to a new morning show on a new TV station after a weekend of venom gathering (perhaps he listens to old re-runs of the Michael Savage radio show).
The Title of This Post Explained:
This affair brought to mind an article I read some time ago authored by Andrew Sullivan — I finally found it in an old (October 9, 2006) issue of Time Magazine. The article, titled “When Not Seeing is Believing” contains a paragraph that discusses the only “way out” of the constant Christian vs. Muslim vs. Jew debacle, that Sullivan can envision. This way out, according to Sullivan:
“. . . will come from the only place it can come from — the minds and souls of people of faith. It will come out of the much derided moderate Muslims, tolerant Jews and humble Christians. The alternative to the secular-fundamentalist death spiral is something called spiritual humility and sincere religious doubt. Fundamentalism is not the only valid form of faith, and to say it is, is the great lie of our times.”
What brought this article and that passage to mind while reading about Preacher Keller is that phrase Sullivan used to describe the constant religious strife in the world the “secular-fundamentalist death spiral. Keller, of course, has the absolute right to spew his hate from any TV station that will have him but I don’t think he has the slightest idea what he is contributing to . . . or perhaps he does and he just doesn’t care.
St Petersburg Times: TV station pulls plug on Keller
International Herald Tribune: Florida televangelist loses show after Muslims complain
From the Blogosphere:
John’s Blog: Christian TV show out, Muslim Pressure Group Blamed