Here are today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

1. Glenn Beck: “I am a Jew!” From The Blaze: In Glenn Beck’s keynote speech at the Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, D.C.Tuesday night he boldly stated, If the world goes down the road of dehumanizing Jews again, “then count me a Jew and come for me first.”
Comment: Whatever one thinks of Beck’s overall politics, the rise in anti-Semitism around the world has reached alarming proportions. More people in the media should speak up.

2. Bravo raises money for GLAAD. From NewsBusters: The NBC Universal-owned cable channel Bravo has earned a pro-gay reputation since the reality show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” But on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, it will be raising money for the gay censorship group called the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Bravo has every right to support GLAAD. No problem there from me. I’d just like to see the network (or any network) join in the fight against anti-Semitism. It’s not quite as chic a cause these days (unless the offender happens to be a right-wing Christian like  Mel Gibson) but it’s every bit as virulent.

3.  The art of controversy. From The Washington Post: As cultural change continues — in the space of six months, gays have earned the right to serve openly in the military and can now marry in New York state — institutional silence on gay themes may no longer be seen as an innocuous, “family friendly” strategy. “Family” is now understood to include gay parents, married gay couples and people with gay children, and the absence of basic information about the role of same-sex desire in art history has become an overt sin of omission.

The speed of change is unbalancing even established institutions. After Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough overruled his top curators and intervened to censor the critically acclaimed “Hide/Seek” exhibition on Nov. 30, he acknowledged only one mistake: having moved too quickly and without enough input from stakeholders. Clough was responding to attacks from a militant right-wing Catholic group, as well as the fear of potential budget cuts from a newly Republican-dominated House of Representatives. The removal of a video by gay artist David Wojnarowicz that showed a cross with ants on it was presented as a small price to pay for keeping the exhibition open. Clough’s intervention was widely seen as endorsing a rigidly conservative Catholic view of sacrilege against a deeply personal, and iconoclastic, gay view of spirituality.
Comment: What I don’t understand is why is it somehow anti-gay not to include imagery offensive to many Christians in a tax-subsidized institution? It certainly wouldn’t be anti-Christian to refrain from displaying art deemed  “homophobic” by the gay community. The value of sensitivity applies to everyone. It’s really all about doing unto others as we would have others do unto us. 

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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