Monday, August 20, 2007

CNN previews Amanpour's "God's Warriors" on LKL and with Roland Martin

Tonight CNN had its prequel to Christiane Amanpour’s series “God’s Warriors” that airs Tues Wed Thurs Aug 21-23 two hours each night, 9 PM EDT. You could call the whole presentation “Is America that Bad?”

Tonight Larry King Live interviewed Amanpour, whose central thought is that fundamentalists of all three major Abrahamaic faiths want their religious moral principles to become accepted in the seat of power and affect how all people must live. King presented Maher Hathout (Muslim), Marvin Hier (Jewish) and John MacArthur (Evangelical Christian) to discuss Amanpour’s thesis.

One hour earlier, Roland Martin had hosted a one hour preview “God, Sex & Greed” with several sets of brief interviews. Thomas Sykes, a hedge fund investor, reiterated the Michael Douglas line from the 1987 movie “Wall Street” that “greed is good.” But Sykes understand greed is something that drives someone to produce real wealth, not just manipulate the system to skim profits off the top.

Moderate “feminist” Muslim author Irshad Manji was there, as well as Rabbi Shmuley Boteash. The rabbi focused on the idea of religious morality as steering someone toward intimacy, vulnerability and emotional connection in marriage, leading to responsiveness to other people, first through the family and then the larger community. It’s that connectedness that the hyper-individualism of modern American society misses, he thinks.

Martin did present a brief report on Liberty University Law School (associated with Jerry Falwell) and interviewed law school professor Matthew Staver. He also presented Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

The panelists on LKL agreed that the preoccupation with abortion and homosexuality of fundamentalism misses the entire point of faith. The need to give marriage a monopoly on sexuality seems to have psychological as well as religious roots, as a way of socializing as many people as possible into the family (and the religious structure) in order to “take care of everyone.” In certain communities, like the Mormon Church, this kind of operation “appears” to work. But what about freedom and pluralism?

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