Michael Savage is a hard-core conservative talk show host (weekdays 5-8pm CST, WIND-AM 560 in Chicago) who pulls in about eight million listeners a week. I had an opportunity to listen most of the first hour of his Jan. 7 show on my way to Plainfield, Ill. He made two statements of opinion on which I believe him to be absolutely 100 percent wrong. I tried to call in but was unsuccessful in reaching the call screener.
1. In discussing the Dec. 25 attempted bombing of NW Flt 253 AMS-DTW by a Nigerian Al-Queda operative, Savage said Jihadist, Islamofascist Muslim terrorists hate us because of the cultural ills of this country: gambling, prostitution, pornography, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. Terrorists hate us because of what is great about the U.S. That would include democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In Muslim countries, not only is the practice of Christianity and Judaism absolutely prohibited, but practicing an unauthorized branch of Islam is illegal as well. The two Muslim sects--Shiite and Sunni--do not get along and often end up attacking each other, sad to say. Muslim terrorists find the fact that the U.S. allows Jews to practice their faith in public and as they please particularly galling and abhorrent.
2. In discussing the cultural ills of this country, Savage maintained that this country is worse than the worst excesses of Ancient Rome. Michael, don't get me started on the Empire. During that time:
--the Romans forced convicted prisoners to fight each other to the death in their world-famous Coliseum. Prisoners also had to fight predatory felines starved in advance of their Coliseum appearances to make them desperately aggressive.
--parties called Bacchanals featured unlimited wine, food and sex (every kind imaginable) and lasted for days.
--a homeowner could murder his family and slaves. This was not illegal.
--the Romans' pagan religion was practiced in the extreme, and not in a good way. A group of young women, the Vestal Virgins, tended to the eternal flame in the Forum. If one violated her vow of chastity, (1) her lover was whipped to death; and (2) she was buried alive.
And you would compare our civilized society to this barbaric culture, Michael? I truly hope not.