Reza Aslan, author of the book "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus… (Malin Fezehai / Random House )
After listening to “a series of attacks from liberal media outlets” against their religion correspondent Lauren Green for her interview with author Reza Aslan, Fox News invited Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, to discuss the controversy Wednesday. He vigorously defended the Fox News correspondent.
Last week, Green seemed to inadvertently paint herself into a rhetorical corner while trying to pin down Aslan on the question of his Muslim faith and his motives in writing his new book, “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.”
The subsequent 10-minute video went viral, and helped propel “Zealot” up the bestseller lists.
“I’ll be the first one to stand up and applaud Lauren Green for the question she asked,” Bozell said. “It was the exact, correct question that needed to be asked.”
Bozell argued that as a Muslim writing a book about Jesus, Aslan was by definition biased, and therefore guilty of “aloof arrogance” in failing to respond to Green’s questioning.
Muslims do not believe that Jesus has a “divine nature,” Bozell said. “They do not believe he is God.”
In “Zealot,” Aslan writes that by seeking a deeper understanding of the culture, religious disputes and social framework of the first century, the historian can craft a more complex and human portrait of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth. That person, he told The Times in an interview, is a more "compelling" figure than the divine Jesus Christ of the Bible.
Bozell said Aslan's arguments are offensive to those who believe Jesus is the son of God.
“He said there is a very big difference between the historical Christ and what the Catholic Church has done to create mythical Christ — no there isn’t.”
Bozell continued: “He’s also made the claim … that the crucifixion was Jesus Christ fomenting violence in society,” Bozell said. “Apparently he’s not familiar with something called the Beatitudes,” Bozell added, referring to the set of teachings Jesus makes in the Gospels.
And finally, Bozell offered personal support for correspondent Green. “She is a good, good woman and doesn’t deserve to be attacked like this,” he said.
Reza Aslan talks 'Zealot,' the book behind the Fox News video
Reza Aslan's book is a bestseller, thanks to Fox News interview
J.K. Rowling to donate 'Cuckoo's Calling' profits to Soldiers' Charity