April 29-30, 2006, weekend
April 29, 2006
EVERYONE'S A CRITIC
A Vatican official is suggesting people boycott the forthcoming movie, "The DaVinci Code." Don't film critics at least have to see movies before they give them no stars?
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SERBIA CREATES POORLY DRAWN NEW LAW ON RELIGION
Serbia's president has signed a new law that effectively makes some religions more equal there than others. You'd think that in an area of the world that has suffered so much because of religious violence, leaders would get something like this right now.
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FIGHTING FRAUDULENT WRITINGS
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- I felt fortunate to be here at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum the day before the recent opening of a new exhibit on the fraudulent "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a vicious piece of anti-Semitism.
The photo you see here is one I took that shows a news story from the 1920s. It reported, once again, that the "Protocols" book had been proven to be a phony.
Danny Greene of the musuem staff gave us a preview of the exhibit, and I was struck again by how hard it is to undo a lie.
As the Holocaust Museum itself reports about the "Protocols," it is the most widely distributed and notorious anti-Semitic publication of modern time. It still is available in many parts of the world (and on the Internet) and often is sold as if it were a legitimate document showing how certain Jewish leaders once plotted to capture power in the world.
The "Protocols" have been around for more than 100 years and the publication was written as a piece of hate propaganda to blame Jews for all kinds of the world's ills. Hitler certainly knew about the publication and, especially in his early years, relied on it. Later, some Nazi officials acknowledged it was a fake though said that the thrust of what it said was true, nonetheless.
Modern anti-Semites distribute the document and encourage people to imagine that the Jews (about 16 million people out of a world population of more than 6 billion) somehow are to blame for nearly everything that's gone wrong in the world, especially in the Middle East.
You wouldn't think it would be necessary for one group after another, decade after decade, to denounce the "Protocols" as a phony bit of trash. But there always are young people who don't know the history of the document and people who, even though they may know that history, are willing to use the document as a propaganda tool.
If you get a chance to visit the museum here in the nation's capitol, please take time to see this new exhibit.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here. (My Saturday column this weekend is about a Muslim woman and how she overcame her anger at Islam.)
Today's religious holiday: St. James the Great Day (Orthodox Christian, 30th).