While making my midday meal, I will often listen to the radio in our kitchen. There are days when I listen to Michael Savage on his national talk radio show, The Savage Nation. (This radio program airs on many stations around the US from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the east and noon to 3 p.m. here in the far west.)
Some times Savage makes me laugh. He gets angry or feigns anger over the social and political problems currently afflicting the US. He has penetrating insights at times. He will address some taboo issues that most other radio hosts will shy away from. (A few days back we heard the voices of survivors of childhood sexual abuse call into the show and share their continuing pain.) He is politically incorrect, and is not ashamed to be.
I find myself in agreement with Michael Savage on many (but certainly not all) issues. I still recall how he spent most of his time on air in March, 2005 – during the 2 weeks when Terry Schindler Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death in a medical facility in Florida – discussing her case and how it was wrong to do this to a human being. And, yes, I respect him for that and agree with him on this.
Now, let us consider another aspect of Michael Savage, conservative talk radio host, author, and public figure here in the US. Unlike most other talk radio hosts, his monologues, and dialogues with callers, almost always come back to Savage the individual, his life, or his achievements. So much refers back to Savage. Some may call this arrogance or egomania, while others may say it is symptomatic of a sociopath. Another well known conservative talk radio host and author, Mark Levin, does not give evidence of such egomania and is actually rather humble even though Mark is a very knowledgeable and scholarly person (on the US Constitution, on US history, philosophy, etc.).
Yesterday, 9 July 2014, Savage was stressing his angst and strong disagreement with the Catholic Church in the US over its stand (or position) on the illegal immigration into the US (that has now reached crisis proportions). Savage in the recent past has stressed his very strong disagreement with Pope Francis’ call for a redistribution of wealth to help the world’s poor. We also disagree with this call for such a redistribution of wealth as that is not how to alleviate poverty long-term and will only treat the symptoms for a very short time. (We wrote on the Catholic Church’s approach to poverty and our recommendations for greatly reducing poverty over time in June, 2012).
One is free to publicly disagree with a church or a religious figure, but Savage will, from to time, go further than adamant or vehement disagreement. Yesterday, Savage did what he has done at least once before to my knowledge (and I am only an ocassional listener to his radio show). That is he flippantly mocked the Catholics’ Sacrament of Holy Communion. In fairness, when Savage gets aroused or angry, he may not even know what he is saying or how he is saying it. (His mouth is going and his mind has not caught up.)
Lack of respect – or active disrespect – for the religious faith of others does not strengthen his position (in this specific instance, his vehement disagreement with the Catholic Church on illegal immigration into the US).
Dr. Savage (he has a Ph.D.): you do not have to show such disrespect to the religious faith of others in an attempt to drive your points of disagreement home. This actually makes you look bad, and incapable of rational, non-emotional, dispassionate discourse. Such tactics are similar to ad hominem attacks on others, and should be rejected.
One final observation. Michael Savage is the US born son of Jewish immigrants to the US from Russia. Today, on his radio program, he asserted that he may have something of the ancient Hebrew (Old Testament) prophets in him, in his blood. This is not true. And, the Ashkenazi (eastern Jews of the Russian steppes and of eastern Europe) know they are not descendants of the ancient Hebrews. See the book by Arthur Koestler, The Thirteenth Tribe, and other writings (by various Jewish authors) that tell of the conversion of the Khazars, a people of the Russian steppes, to Talmudic Judaism in the eighth century of the Christian era.
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