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Obama’s pilfered prayer
What a stolen prayer note from Jerusalem’s Western Wall says about Obama, and us.
 

A written prayer that Democrat Barack Obama placed in Jerusalem’s Western Wall was stolen, said Ed Morrissey in the blog Hot Air, and published on the front page of Israel’s Maariv newspaper. This exploitation of “a private communication between Obama and God” is “the cult of celebrity at its ugliest”—like “bugging a confessional to hear a Catholic candidate’s private conversation between his priest and the Lord.”

That it was stolen by a Jewish seminary student is “deeply troubling,” said Frank James in the Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp blog. Even if Maariv didn’t realize it’s wrong to publish a prayer pilfered from “the holiest of sites in Jerusalem,” you’d hope a seminary student would. “Here’s hoping this person eventually goes into some other line of work.”

Here's hoping the newspaper's editors do the same, said Shlomi Barzel in Israel’s Haaretz. There was no compelling public interest to publish his note—only voyeurism—so trampling on the sanctity of a man's prayer was a violation of the "journalistic ethos." Wasn't that, too, "once sacred"?

Now that this “warrantless wiretapping on a phone call to God” has been published, said Katherine Mangu-Ward in Reason’s Hit & Run blog, can’t we ask the likely reaction if the last line—“And make me an instrument of your will”—had “come from George Bush’s pen? One can only imagine the headlines: President Sees Self as ‘Instrument’ of God’s Will!”

 

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