Fox News, after a pause, has come back fighting against criticism of their interview with Reza Aslan, a Muslim scholar who wrote a book about Jesus. And as the discussion about a book that's more or less a William Manchester-style literary biography (that is, one steeped in scholarship, but written for the mainstream) of the historical Jesus spirals further and further away from, you know, the actual content of the book itself, what's emerging is a deep, conservative fear, and anger, concerning the audacity and bias of non-Christians who discuss the content of the Bible.
Here, via TPM, is Fox News's attempt at hitting back against the significant criticism of Lauren Green's handling of Aslan, and his work:
To recap: Shannon Bream, conservative Christian graduate of Liberty University, was speaking with L. Brent Bozell III, a Catholic who runs the conservative Media Research Center, about the ability and validity of someone who is not Christian to fairly discuss the historicity of religion. That discussion includes an assessment, apparently without irony, of Aslan's devotion to his own faith:
Right wing founder of Media Research Center @BrentBozell says I'm “not a very good Muslim” Which is it guys? Devout Secret or Bad Muslim?— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) July 31, 2013
Much of Aslan's (and lots of others') frustration with Fox News began when Lauren Green wondered why a Muslim would "be interested in the founder of Christianity?" and her claim that Aslan's book was "like having a Democrat writing a book about why Reagan wasn’t a good Republican." While similar questions can and do provide a great opportunity for discussion among people who believe differently but have the same interests, Green's repeated questions represent a suspicion to his intentions that could be warranted, say, against a Hitchens-style screed against the idea that religion has value. But Aslan's book seems far from a religous attempt to question the facts of a Christian narrative in order to undermine it.