Propaganda And Fake History: How Are We Supposed To Trust A Newspaper With Editors That Allow This?

New York Times journalist Eric Copage decided to resurrect the “Jesus was black” controversy from the Seventies for Easter in a column called, “As a Black Child in Los Angeles, I Couldn’t Understand Why Jesus Had Blue Eyes.”

That’s funny: as a white child growing up in the Boston area, I couldn’t understand how anyone knew what Jesus looked like, since there were no photographs then and he never had his portrait painted. I had the same question about Moses, and Adam and Eve.

But I digress. Copage seems to think it matters that Jesus wasn’t blue-eyed; I have a harder time imagining him shorter than a typical jockey, which he quite possibly was. The writer then says,

“But Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin.”

That’s a neat trick. He could not have been a “Palestinian man,” because there was no such place as Palestine when Jesus was alive. As several have pointed out since the piece was published on Good Friday, the land  that was home of the Jewish people was renamed Palestinia after the Romans exiled most Jews from Judea in the second century A.D., which, as the notation suggests, was long after Jesus. The Roman emperor Hadrian chose the name as a rebuke to Jews by evoking the Philistines, who had been defeated by King David and had been wiped out long before the Roman conquest. Palestinians are Arabs, who didn’t didn’t conquer the area later called Palestinia until 700 years after Jesus.

No source claims that Jesus was an Arab. Arabs aren’t Jews. Jews aren’t Arabs. Jesus was a Jew, whatever color he was, no matter what shade his eyes were, and whether he could beat Mickey Rooney in H-O-R-S-E or not.

Why would New York Times editors permit Copage to mislead Times readers with fake ancient history, and fake ancient history regarding Jesus on Good Friday, of all times ? There are two possible reasons. One is that the Times editors are sloppy and incompetent, especially regarding anything connected to Christianity. In an earlier gaffe, the Times had to correct its report that the Paris Fire Department chaplain rescued a “statue of Jesus” from the fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral. But he hadn’t said that he rescued a statue, for there was no “statue of Jesus” to rescue. He said that he rescued “the Body of Christ,” which, as any Catholic knows,means the Blessed Sacrament, communion bread.

Hanlon’s Razor certainly supports this explanation. The other is that the Times, which has been giving consistent support and cover to the growing anti-Semitism on the Left and pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel position,  naturally accepted Copage’s false history as advancing the cause.

24 thoughts on “Propaganda And Fake History: How Are We Supposed To Trust A Newspaper With Editors That Allow This?

  1. I think the later explanation is more likely to be the case. As somebody who received a B.A. in History and completed coursework in Medieval History, the Times premise that Jesus was a Palestinian is ludicrous to say the least. No, Jesus was not an African, Arab or Swede but was a Jew.

    • You do need to realize that the idea of striving to find a factually accurate version of history is considered racist by the left. History to them is merely a method of advancing a political cause. This ‘absolute truth’ is a concept of Western Civilization (which it is), and therefore something to be discouraged and disdained. ‘Truth’ is whatever is convenient to the cause. ‘Facts’ are whatever they say are facts. It is what Oliver Stone, Kevin Costner, and the US educational system said about the movie JFK, “It may not be how things actually happened, but it is what SHOULD have happened, and it is what we should teach our children to make society better” (or something similar). Logic, reason, accuracy have no place in their toolbox.

      This is why they bristle when Trump calls them ‘Fake News’. They make up the news because that is what they believe is the right and proper thing to do. Trump smears them by judging them by his white, Western European values they reject. Not only do they reject his idea that their news is ‘fake’, they reject his definition of what ‘news’ is. The idea of presenting impartial reporting is actually wrong in their eyes, so for Trump to criticize them for not doing the ‘wrong’ thing is galling indeed.

  2. It’s no different than releasing the Catholic-bashing movie Priest on Good Friday. Catholic bashing and Christian bashing are some of the last acceptable prejudices. The New York times is very prejudiced, but hey, their prejudice and hatred are aimed the right people, not the wrong ones.

    • Remember, Christians can’t be victims. If they are killed by random terrorists of no specific religious background who randomly selected random structures on a random date to kill random people, they are ‘Easter Worshippers’.

      Jesus’ portrayal is probably so varied because the Bible doesn’t describe his physical appearance at all. It isn’t important. There is no penalty in Christianity for saying Jesus is black, or that Jesus had blue eyes. It just doesn’t matter. It may be almost certainly wrong, but it doesn’t actually matter to the message. Now, the NYT better be careful racially categorizing religious figures. We know that other religions DO have penalties for claiming that their religious figures are black.

      • “Remember, Christians can’t be victims. If they are killed by random terrorists of no specific religious background who randomly selected random structures on a random date to kill random people, they are ‘Easter Worshippers’.’

        Yes, it’s “some people did something”.

        • Yup, just like white people can never be victims and men can never be victims. Then again, Christianity has been nothing but a problem for the world from its inception. Never mind Islamic terror, never mind that the greatest democides of the last two centuries were perpetrated by either Islamic or officially godless regimes, Christianity can never wash out the stain of the Inquisition, the Crusades, or the conquest of the New World, even if all its denominations start ordaining women and blessing gay unions.

          • Christianity can never wash out the stain of the Inquisition, the Crusades, or the conquest of the New World

            None of these are even all that bad in light of historical fact. Black Legend con-job flim-flammery is absolutely all they have. Hanlon’s razor would leave them possessing nearly sub-human intelligence, so regarding them as demonically evil seems to be no less harsh a judgment. I used to dream of the day all the lies would be laid bare. Now that they are, and everyone’s still speaking and acting in the same way, I just want the sheep and goats to be separated. No doubt that’ll be more than I bargained for, too.

            • No one ever mentions that the Muslims had been conquering parts of Europe for 3 centuries before Pope Urban called for a crusade, and if you point it out, the left brushes you off as pedantic at best, an apologist for brutality at the worst. The Inquisition I’ll admit was pretty bad, but, to put it in context, heresy is to the church what treason is to a government, and, when the church is as much a temporal power as the government, it should not come as a surprise that it takes steps to protect that power. The Muslims can lecture us about that when you can no longer have your head chopped off in Sunni countries if you mistakenly sound the call to prayer more than once (a Shi’ite practice, which is prohibited in Sunni countries), and the Protestants can lecture us about it when they apologize for Cromwell in Ireland and the High Commission. The conquest of the New World was brutal but inevitable. Less developed cultures are pretty much doomed once more developed ones arrive on the scene. That’s how Sumer was wiped off the map by Sargon of Akkad in the 22nd century B.C. (his troops had bows, which the Sumerians knew nothing about), how the Portuguese blew the Muslims out of the water at Diu (galleys are no match for cannon-armed carracks), and the aborigines of Australia had had it once the British started to arrive in numbers (naked people who ate grubs against firearms?). It’s simply not realistic to think that Columbus would have returned and reported he found nothing to keep Europe from continuing to sail west. It’s even less so to think that, instead of the Treaty of Tordesillas, by which Spain and Portugal agreed that Spain would go west and Portugal east for conquest, that they would have signed the Ban of Valladolid, agreeing to leave the primitive cultures of the Americas alone and prohibiting any European ship from sailing west out of sight of the Azores or Canary Islands.

              • The Inquisition I’ll admit was pretty bad

                I won’t even retreat on the issue of the Inquisitions. They were targeted toward subversives (people playing the Catholic to infiltrate Church and secular circles) and ignored open heretics and infidels. They were the fairest courtrooms in Europe, to boot.

  3. Mind you, I don’t think it would kill us in the west if we were to portray him a bit more ‘accurately’. Darker skin and hair and non blue eyes would help; but more importantly, not a baby, except at Christmas, and more like a tradie blokes-bloke rather than a milksop wus who looks like he’s about to burst into tears and role up in a fetal ball whimpering if his mummy isn’t there to hold his hand!

    • Amen to that Paul. I’m all for a tougher version of Jesus. Enough of these psalms about Jesus patting us on our woolly heads as he lovingly tends his flock. My Jesus looks more like Triple H and he might explode at any moment and just start tossing money lenders around like rag dolls. Yes, he is your personal savior and christ. But don’t push it, buddy. There are limits to his patience.

  4. Palestinians are Arabs, who didn’t didn’t conquer the area later called Palestinia until 700 years after Jesus.

    I am too busy to do this, and your related earlier piece, enough justice by correcting misunderstandings adequately. So I will simply state the following without proof, except to mention that it is backed by Glubb Pasha’s work and by DNA surveys.

    They are only acculturated Arabs. They are in fact descended, almost completely apart from some interbreeding with later arrivals, from the people who were living there shortly before Jesus (Jewish proselytising by the Hasmonaeans had actually altered the demographics a bit, just before that). The Arabs who went in there in the first muslim conquests mostly moved on, following the conquests into even richer areas (that date you give is slightly out, for the conquest of Palestine). While they were there, they mostly stayed in cantonments suited to a frontier (per Glubb). Over many centuries, largely for tax reasons, many Palestinians converted to Islam, just as earlier batches had often become Christian (I have heard that an entire Jewish village converted as late as the Ottomans, according to the Ottomans’ tax records). Quite a few remained Christian, though, and were still there when the crusaders arrived; I don’t imagine that anyone seriously believes that muslim conquests brought those in.

    You should check things, including what I tell you. The explanation that makes most sense is that Palestinians are “lost Jews”, at least as much Jewish as many Sephardim.

    • Considering the second class treatment that Jews and Christian received under Ottoman, it’s not surprising that small groups converted to Islam. Coptic Christians today in places like Egypt are subject to murder and terrorism.

    • But “Jewish” is a cultural designation as well as an ethnic one. They can’t be Jews if they never were within the culture, and since Jews and Arabs were and are culturally distinct, saying Jews were Arabs is at best quibbling, and at worst misleading. Yes, they are related. The thesis of the article being discussed is no less false.

      • That is seriously missing the point I was trying to bring out.

        I was not making any claim whatsoever about the culture of the people now referred to as “Palestinian”. Indeed, I acknowledged that their culture was indeed heavily influenced by those conquests (more among the muslims than among the Christians, though). That’s what “acculturated” means.

        I was pointing out that your formulation should not be taken as implying that the Palestinians are a later arriving population that came into that area following the initial muslim conquests, which would be an easy misreading for the intelligent but uninformed to make. Rather, the Palestinians are ethnically, ancestrally, almost completely the descendants of the people who were there just before the time of Christ (some additions and alterations did happen later, including from Europe, but over many centuries; practically none of the first muslim conquerors remained, or settled or left descendants then, because of how they were garrisoning and how they went on to other conquests soon after). The term “ethnically” does not make the Palestinians culturally Jews, and it is a red herring to suppose that my point ever had anything to do with that. Indeed, the summary “lost Jews” is itself an acknowledgement that they are separated from Jewry (there’s a chance that I’m a “lost Jew” myself, if Amy White was an East End Jew rather than London Irish).

        But the fact remains that the Palestinians are not and never were a replacement of the earlier inhabitants. They proceed from those earlier inhabitants. It is not a mere matter of collateral relatedness either, but of actual ancestry. Do you remember the saying that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts”? That is a relevant and readily checkable fact which commenters on today’s situation should know, particularly if they ever entertain claims based on family and ancestral connection to the land. And it would be a straw man to restate that I was making a claim of actual Jewishness for the Palestinians, or vice versa. That’s because “saying Jews were Arabs is at best quibbling, and at worst misleading”, so you shouldn’t make out that I ever told you that.

        • Yeah, “across the pond” is dumb—I’m fond of it because I grew up across an actual pond. I should use “way, waaay across the pond.” I refuse to use “down under,” just as I have an aversion to “crikey.”

  5. Hanlon’s Razor certainly supports this explanation. The other is that the Times, which has been giving consistent support and cover to the growing anti-Semitism on the Left and pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel position, naturally accepted Copage’s false history as advancing the cause.

    I recommend you do like me, and realize that Hanlon’s Razor no longer applies to the Left. The NYT is part of the Left.

    Therefore, the only thing that makes sense is malice aforethought. And despite some reasonable evidence to the contrary that you rightly cited, it is insufficient to allow a conclusion of incompetence or simple ignorance.

    The narrative must be maintained, and the narrative is Palestinian (whenever they were created) good, Jew bad.

    There is no reason whatever to doubt Jesus was of Semitic, not Arab, ethnicity. What color his eyes were, his stature, hair color, length of hair, etc. are lost to time. We know only the general phenotype of Semites in those days, but variations were certain to exist.

  6. I have heard the argument before that Jesus was (probably) black but I always thought he was Jewish, from the House of David. So, I figured that he was more Middle-Eastern looking, rather than West European or Black. His image was never a big deal to me and I saw differences in iconography in books and parish materials (even though it is 25 southeast of Cleveland, OH). For instance, I wondered why my grade school’s images of Mother Mary were always fair skinned and blue eyes, yet when she is represented as La Virgen de Guadalupe, she is clearly given Pre-Colombian features more common to the indigenous populations of Mexico and Central America. My parents, and our Catholic schools, taught us that is common for the prevailing culture to adopt and adapt religious imagery that favors the region; they also emphasized that the representation of the image is not the controlling factor but what that image is supposed to convey.

    In college, though, I did see that religious imagery had taken on a political agenda. The “Jesus was African” position was an attempt to displace Western European Christian heritage. If, for example, Jesus and his ancestors were African, then it would necessarily follow that African heritage is fundamental to Christina identity, just as the anthropological and archeological thoughts that humans evolved in the Golden Crescent and migrated to other places over millions of years. That would mean that African traditions/heritage should be honored and recognized over Mediterranean and/or Western European influence as the cornerstone of Christianity. To me, that ignored a whole body of history. So, in this op-ed, I suspect that the NYT truly wants to promote that African influence should be elevated to, if not over, but at least equal to, Western European influence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.