It was the best of religion, it was the worst of religion in 2008. Let’s concentrate on the worst. The following are the ten stories that made us want to roll our eyes, curl up into a ball or raise our fist. Hopefully we will be among those who learn from history – and not repeat it.
10. Jews feel the financial and image pain of Wall Streeter Bernie Maddoff as his money lies damage Yeshiva University and Elie Weisel as well as smaller stakeholders.
8. Rev. Jeremiah Wright appears at the Washington Press Club. By playing the fool Wright makes his defenders, including Barack Obama, look foolish.
7. Prosperity Gospelers add to the foreclosure crisis by preaching that Jesus had provided poor congregants with a house they could not afford.
6. Elizabeth Dole runs the “There is No God” campaign ad accusing opponent Kay Hagen (who teaches Sunday School) of atheism.
5. The Catholic Church, Mormons and Rick Warren join in a theologically unlikely alliance to pass Proposition 8 and revoke the right of Gays and Lesbians to marry. Rick Warren is tapped by Obama to offer the invocation at his inauguration.
4. The anti-Muslim rhetoric in the presidential election, coupled with a persistent belief that Barack Obama was a Muslim topped off by the Obama campaign insistience on the candidate’s Christian faith rather than condemning the religion-baitng.
3. Buddhist Monks and nuns are slaughtered in Tibet as China cracks down in anticipation of the Olympics and similar violence in Burma by the dictatorship.
2. Islamist terrorists take the city of Mumbai Hostage killing people of all faith and especially targeting Jews.
1. With all of the power of the world religions in 2008 we did not muster the political will to stop the daily starvation of thousands of our fellow human beings.