Michael Weinstein’s Words Defend Sarah Palin

Not since Michael Weinstein declared Sarah Palin a “misogynist” have those two names been placed together with such controversy as they were this week.  Now, amazingly enough, Weinstein’s example is being used to defend…Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin is apparently being taken to task by some for appropriating (or misusing) the term “blood libel.”  From a public video:

Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

From the Christian Science Monitor

According to the “Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,” “blood libel” refers to “the accusation that Jews murder non-Jews to obtain blood for Passover rituals.” Probably not what Palin had mind.

The National Jewish Democratic Council called the “incendiary…reference…wrong always:”

This is of course a particularly heinous term for American Jews, given that the repeated fiction of blood libels are directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries—and given that blood libels are so directly intertwined with deeply ingrained anti-Semitism around the globe, even today.

Some came to her defense, with Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz saying the term has a “broad metaphorical meaning.”  Others defended her by pointing out that the term “blood libel” has been appropriated for political purposes by others, on both sides of the aisle — including artful semanticist Michael Weinstein, in his own words, accusing Christians with this very “incendiary, wrong always” term:

It is a blood libel assessment that paints all Muslims as terrorists, and suggests that no followers of Islam can be loyal Americans…

The biggest crime I accuse the religious right of and it’s a blood libel, a crime against humanity is torturing that concept, by bludgeoning it and assaulting it, so that what it comes out as “tolerance for diversity” equals “intolerance for us in the majority.”

What we blame the Dominionist Christians for…is really a blood libel, because they take that beautiful concept that is so American, tolerance for diversity, and they rape it, brutalize it, and torture it, so that out of their mouth comes they phrase “intolerance for those of the majority.”

Weinstein is no stranger to appropriating such controversial terminology to advance his cause, as when he talks about members of the military “spiritually raping” troops or the Constitution, or reveling in people going to hell.  He has frequently used references to atrocities or sensitivities from World War II and its era to accuse Christians of impropriety or scheming of plans to take over the world.

Also noted at the Religion Clause.