The media went has been going nuts over Reza Aslan's new book about the "historical" Jesus, "Zealot". It's gotten plenty of praise from the left, and anyone upset over it has been portrayed as being anti-Muslim. But the manufactured uproar over Aslan's Islamic faith is only a distraction from the real issues: he has obscured the facts about his educational background and his deep ties to progressive organizations. Aslan is first and foremost a progressive, whose goal is to raise doubts in believes in Jesus and ultimately have the leave the faith like he did. Glenn laid out the truth during the opening monologue of Wednesday's Glenn Beck Program.
Well, hello, America, and welcome to The Glenn Beck Program and to TheBlaze. This is the network that you are building, and it is important that we build it, because there’s a problem with truth, and there’s a problem with truth in the media. And we’re all following the media like zombies, and it’s true, you know it is, because why isn’t America – I was out in California. Gas is $4.11 out there. Why is nobody talking about that? Because the media isn’t talking about it.
We follow the media, and this book is evidence. The media is hyping this book about Jesus, and whenever the media decides we’ve got to tell you about this book about Jesus, it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s not going to make Jesus look really good. I saw this book while I was out. I’ve been gone, I think, for what, five weeks now, and I saw it popping up everywhere. And I knew something was up.
And I called the studio, and I called the staff. And I said do me a favor, look into this book, and most importantly, tell me who this man is. Who is the author? Well, NPR was billing this as “Christ in context.” Woo, NPR says that? The Seattle Times wrote Zealot “looks at the age Jesus lived in to expand what’s known about the historical figure.” Really? And Publishers Weekly named it one of their best new books. It’s got to be good.
Generally, it is positive all the way around with anybody in the media, no controversial language attached to it whatsoever, as is the case whenever I or pretty much any Conservative appears on mainstream media outlets, and we mention Jesus. Not surprisingly, the book has ended up to be just another attack on Christian beliefs, and yet no one in the media or the administration is condemning it, which I thought was weird, because I know if I condemn or write a bad book about, let’s say, the Prophet Muhammad, well then I’m going to be responsible for the Benghazi attacks, right?
I mean, do you remember the horrible, evil video questioning Muhammad? It was denounced by Hillary Clinton. It was denounced by President Obama. I guess we just have to go shoot up an embassy to get some attention here, but that’s not what Christians do. But I thought that they were against any denigration of any religious figure? I mean, the president, I guess he was a little more clear when he went in front of the UN. What exactly did he say?
President Obama: The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
Ah, that’s it. That’s it. The future can’t go to the people who slander the prophet of Islam. The man who made the video slandering it, and it was an awful, went to jail. This guy, the guy who slanders Jesus, is he going to be condemned? No, they’re giving him cover. You see, it started out strangely. Initially the media failed to point out that the author, Reza Aslan, was a Muslim.
Now, I want to be really clear here. I don’t really care. A Muslim has every right to write a book about Jesus. You don’t like Jesus, you like Jesus, you’re a Muslim, you’re a Hindu, you’re a Christian, I don’t really care, but it should be pointed out, and this is the same thing, a Christian has a right to do a book about Muhammad or a video – freedom of speech.
But I don’t think everybody agrees on that one. And the important thing is if I’m writing a book about Muhammad, everybody should say full disclosure, he’s a Christian. Same thing with this guy; full disclosure, he doesn’t like Christianity. He’s a Muslim. But the media and the author were hiding it at the beginning for some reason. Now, there was an interview early on with NPR, and here’s what he said.
Q: Are you still a Christian?
Reza Aslan: No, I wouldn’t call myself a Christian because I do not believe that Jesus is God, nor do I believe that he ever thought that he was God or that he ever said that he was God. But I am a follower of Jesus, and I think that sometimes, unfortunately – I think even Christians would recognize this and admit it – those two things aren’t always the same, being a Christian and being a follower of Jesus.
Yeah right, this guy’s absolutely brilliant. Hat’s off, he’s brilliant. He is. Are you a Christian? No, but I am a follower of Jesus. I think I’d call myself that. Really? No mention here that he’s a Muslim who holds the view that Jesus Christ is not the son of God. He does say Jesus isn’t the son of God.
Now again, the fact that Aslan is a Muslim doesn’t matter to the story. In fact, that’s the red herring. The reason why I bring this up is the fact that they’re dishonest about it. That’s what matters. Because as it turns out, he’s being dishonest not about the Islam thing. He is not forthcoming about a lot of things, himself, Jesus, and most tellingly, the associations that reveal his real motivations behind writing the book Zealot.
What is it? It is the latest progressive attempt to change and rewrite history. That’s what it is, and that’s the number one priority now for Progressives. From naming streets after communist labor activist Cesar Chavez to making movies glorifying the murderous revolutionary Che, Progressives are trying to cement the legacy of the radical revolutionary and the leftists.
And that’s what they’re trying to make Jesus into. He was just a radical. He was just a revolutionary. He was just like Che. And if you believe anything else, you’re into the dustbin of history. That’s what they’re doing, and the scary part is it’s working because no one is exposing it. Tonight, we’re going to do just that, and it’s up to you then to carry the water and spread this around to all of your friends.
We’re going to show you the truth behind this author that he and no other media source has even bothered to point out. And when we do, they’ll say oh, there he goes on the chalkboard and the conspiracies. Nope, it’s all out in the open, didn’t take us long to find it. You can find it yourself. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own homework. Get to the truth about well, why? Why? Why is this guy doing it?
Well, he’s just a scholar, right? He’s a scholar. He’s got a passion for this. That’s what he’ll have you believe. When you dig down, people will say no, no, no, it’s because of his faith. No, it’s not about that. So that leaves he wants fame, he wants money, or he wants power. To find out why he’s doing this, you have to begin to uncover the many falsehoods surrounding this book and the author.
Let’s start with the first dishonest claim. He’s a religious scholar and a historian. In fact, I’m quoting him, he has a PhD in the history of religions. That’s how everyone is identifying him because that’s how he identifies himself. In fact, he gets a little snotty about it. In an interview on Fox News, he declared himself a historian and a PhD on the history of religions.
Well, let’s look at this and see how the facts compare. Can you please play the history of religions, or do we have that coming up later? Because I know he has four degrees. He has, in 1995, he got a BA in religion, in religious studies, a BA. That’s not a PhD – Santa Clara University. In 1999, Masters in world religions from Harvard. Okay, good, not a PhD. In 2002, a Masters in fine arts in fiction, interesting – in the University of Iowa.
In 2009, a PhD in sociology. That is bizarre. So he’s studying us. He’s learning how to write fiction, and he learns how to speak the religious language. Wow, it’s a fascinating work here. But you know what I notice, there’s no history degree. There’s no history degree. He’s not a PhD in religions, and he’s not a historian. It’s possible that his Harvard theology degree included some history credits, but that’s not the same, not even on the same planet as an expert with a PhD in the history of religions.
Please play the Fox News piece here where he goes on. Listen to how he says it.
Reza Aslan: To be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament. I am an expert with a PhD in the history of religions. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually. To be clear, I just want to emphasize this one more time, I am a historian. I am a PhD in the history of religions.
]Uh uh, no, no he’s not. He’s not a PhD in the history of religions. He is not a historian. I tell you what, next time I’m on any channel, I’m going to insist that they put historian underneath my name. I spend a lot of time looking at history, a lot of time. Do you think they’d let me get away with historian? How about if I said I was a PhD in American history, and I don’t have that? Would anybody allow me to get away with it?
A cursory glance at his book reveals serious flaws in both fact and logic. But before I leave there, could you please put up where he’s teaching now, because he said I want you to know what I’m teaching here. This is what I do. I’m a professor of history specializing in the Gospels. No, actually he’s at UC Riverside, and he’s in the department of creative writing. Really? He also is…he’s at the University of Southern California in public diplomacy, which is an interesting place for him to be.
He’s also a contributor for The Daily Beast, but my favorite, my favorite is the last one. Can we put this up? He’s a sometimes professor, sometimes professor, and Tiffany, if you can please find that for me. He’s a sometimes professor, and what he’s doing is he’s teaching people something fantastic. He’s teaching people Middle Eastern revolution. That’s what he’s a professor of, revolution through – go ahead, here it is – revolution “on the art of protest in the Middle East, examining protest literature, film, art, and music. There it is, Drew University.
That’s not the same, is it? Now, his education started as most education does. He was a Christian before going into college. And colleges are doing a great job turning people out that are not Christians anymore. It’s there that his professors started teaching him.
Reza Aslan: I became very angry. I became very resentful. I turned away from Christianity. I began to really reject the concept of Christ.
Interesting. So it’s not surprising to me that the elitist godless professors sway him away from Jesus, but that’s his starting point – anger, resentment, rejection. But he stays in school. He gets his several degrees. For a religious expert, he doesn’t seem to have a grasp on even the most basic facts, but he’s busy teaching revolution in the Middle East so…
Now, Aslan was deflecting the NPR question of his own religious views, but he also blatantly lied about the point in the Gospels. Go back to the NPR piece here where he made this claim in the interview. Watch this.
Reza Aslan: I do not believe that Jesus is God, nor do I believe that he ever thought that he was God or that he ever said that he was God.
Okay, got a problem with this one, because Jesus made it very clear that he was. He was either God, the son of God, or the Messiah. He’s in the God circle there. And I don’t care how far you get away from it, if you read the Gospels, it’s pretty clear that’s who he’s saying he is. It’s one of the reasons why everybody wanted him dead. He refers to himself as I Am, which is the holy name of God, at least four times. In Mark, Jesus is asked, “Are you the son of God? And he says “yes.” Well, that seems like it’s pretty clear. So why would a religious scholar make such an easily disprovable claim?
The string of dishonesty seems to be a pattern here. Judging his work on his merit, judging him just – forget about everything about that he lied about his PhD, he lied about what he does for a living, what he’s currently teaching, that he’s a professor of. Let’s just judge him just based on the book Zealot. We showed you the one disputed claim. Here’s another one. He wrote in the Washington Post that “the Gospels are not, nor were they ever meant to be a historical documentation of Jesus’ life.”
He said, “These are not eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ words and deeds. They’re testimonies of faith, composed by communities of faith written many years after the events they describe.” Okay, this claim is flat-out false. Let’s go to the Gospel of Luke. Luke says “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.”
Now, that’s what it actually says, so I don’t know you can say that it was just a thing on faith. Oh, I remember, I remember, he said because this was written a long time, sometimes 30-40 years after, right? And so the authors weren’t reliable because it was 40 years after his death and after it happened. Well, that seems to be a logical problem here, professor. How are we supposed to take your book seriously 2,000 years later if 40 years couldn’t get it right?
If you need more evidence, read the book. I’m not a book burner. I’m not somebody – you can read the book. It’s garbage. We wanted to give you a taste here. We wanted to establish the clear pattern of dishonesty, but why is the real question, why? What is the reason behind it? That’s what we try to do on this show. We go back to that one question, why?
Well, to answer why, you have to look at who he really is. Who is he? He’s not who the media says he is, and he’s not who the detractors say he is. The media says he’s a God professor of Gospel history. No, no, he’s not. He’s got a PhD in Gospel history. No, he doesn’t. No, he doesn’t. And it’s not who his detractors say. He’s a Muslim, just trying – no, he’s not. He is a Muslim, but that’s not what his motivation is. It begins with Aslan Media. Now, why would this guy who’s so focused on God and religion, because that’s what he is, he’s a professor, why does he have Aslan Media? Go back to what he’s teaching. What is he teaching sometimes at Drew? He’s teaching the art of revolution and protest through literature and music. That’s what he’s doing. So he’s producing literature and media.
Now, who is Aslan Media? Well, they’re operating under the fiscal sponsorship of this group, the Levantine Cultural Center. Well, who are they? Well, they’re easy to figure out. They’re partners with CODEPINK on the founding committee of a project called Narrative 4. What’s Narrative 4? Well, that’s a project dedicated to creating social change, and that was a…that’s a project of the Tides Center. This is starting to look familiar, isn’t it?
He’s also a board member on the National Iranian American Council. Now, who are they? Well, they’re funded by George Soros. He’s also on the Board of Directors of this. This is great. Let’s take our Ploughshares. Take our swords and pound them into ploughshares, so the Ploughshares Fund, which is launched with money from the Tides Foundation. Now, Tides funnels money to the Ploughshares, and now the Ploughshares sends it back to Tides, and they can fund other progressive groups like Media Matters.
Ploughshares also has helped fund the launch of the Center for American Progress. Ploughshares also donates heavily to the International Crisis Group. Isn’t that great? Oh, that’s Samantha Power, which brings us back to the International Crisis Group, the responsibility to protect the Gaza flotilla. Remember when CODEPINK was there? It’s funny. It’s funny that all he wants to do is talk to you about Jesus – does he now?
Whenever somebody wants to change history, it usually comes back, when you really look into it, to the same cast of characters, unless they’re being demonized. If they’re being demonized by the mainstream media, you know none of these people are involved. If they’re being hailed as a God, you know the ends justify the means, Progressives are back, you know, the ones who believe it’s okay to lie as long as the end, the result is the one that you desire.
So forget about this guy being a phony Muslim or a phony scholar. Who is he? He’s a radical Progressive. He is also hardcore anti-Israel. The 2010 flotilla, remember CODEPINK? Yeah, he said about this particular point in history in the world, he said, “At what point are rational, peace-loving, Israel-supporting people of the world going to stand up and say ‘enough’? How much longer are we to bear the Hasbara propaganda…,” that’s an interesting phrase, “…that places the image of the State of Israel above its well-being?” You see, he knows what’s better for Israel than Israel does. I’ve heard that before. I think the president said it.
“How much longer are we going to accept the cries of victimization from the strongest and…,” get this, “…richest nation in the Middle East?” It’s no longer Saudi Arabia. It’s Israel to this historian and PhD in the histories of religion. “How much longer are we going to put up with a policy of collective punishments that has led to the slow starvation of 1.5 million people?”
He also is mainstream at least with the mainstream media and this administration and with George Soros and with the Tides Foundation. He thinks the Muslim Brotherhood is wonderful. “On the Muslim Brotherhood, make no mistake, however the current uprising in Egypt turns out, there can be no doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood will have a significant role to play in post-Mubarak Egypt, and that is a good thing.”
In an interview on the Muslim Brotherhood website, he said, “I decided to study religion in school, even though I planned on being a writer, because of my experience at Santa Clara University, a Jesuit university steeped in the promotion...,” you can hear it coming, can’t you, “…of social justice. The Jesuits taught me that whatever I did for a living, it must benefit society, it must be for the greater good; I must work towards justice and peace.”
Justice and peace, he said these words very carefully to the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English language. Why? Well, I think Americans really need to understand the Muslim Brotherhood is the freedom and justice party. But how does freedom and justice come about with the Muslim Brotherhood? They believe according to their own websites the only way to achieve freedom and justice is with sharia law.
See, this guy is very good at speaking two languages at once. He’s a media guy. He’s a media guy. He’s a radical. There’s a difference between the Catholic understanding of social justice and the Muslim Brotherhood understanding of social justice and freedom, even a difference between the George Bernard Shaw social justice. I mean, he told us why bother keeping somebody alive if there’s nobody, you know, that’s benefiting from their life in society?
There’s a difference. Even the Catholic version of social justice, which I’m sure he doesn’t really even understand that if there’s one God, he sorts things out. And that one God, why would he let his son be crucified? Why would he let his son – Catholics believe this – why would he be crucified? To set the example.
There’s a difference between man’s justice and God’s justice, but see, he seemed to miss that in his Catholic education. Make no mistake, it’s not because he is a Muslim. He’s not writing a book slamming Jesus because of his Muslim beliefs. He’s not writing it because he’s an amazing historian and has uncovered some incredible new facts that the world has to hear.
Make no mistake, he is a progressive radical above all else. He wants to change our understanding of history and our relationship to God to create social change. That’s what he’s teaching at Drew University. I mean, at least when he’s a visiting professor occasionally at Drew University, the class has chosen, they know what they’re walking into, to witness the art of protest in literature, film, art, and music.
What he is currently doing, he’s acting it out. His goal is to cause doubt in believers of Jesus and ultimately have them leave their faith like he did so Progressives will have more devoted followers who can do whatever their hearts desire tells them to do – change our history, change our traditions. That’s what this is really all about, and the good news is for Reza, bad news for us, he’s not trying to do this alone.
Michelle Obama: And Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices. We are going to have to change our conversation. We’re going to have to change our traditions, our history. We’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation to provide the kind of future that we all want desperately for our children.