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More Wisdom From Del. Frank Hargrove, Biblical Scholar

When last we left Virginia Delegate Frank Hargrove, he was telling us that blacks "should get over" slavery and thinking that it might not make sense "to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ."

Now the wise man from Hanover is back with some news from the Bible: "The New Testament does say the Jewish people crucified Christ," Hargrove tells Washington Jewish Week reporter Eric Fingerhut.

But fear not: Frank Hargrove is a forgiving man. "I don't fault you for it," he tells a Jewish reporter. And the delegate even admits to a bit of doubt: "I don't know who killed Christ; I wasn't there." The lawmaker is, after all, only 80 (happy birthday, Mr. Hargrove, by the way!)

More theological tidbits from Del. Hargrove as the great one sees fit to bless us with his further revelations.

By Marc Fisher |  January 29, 2007; 8:00 AM ET
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Comments

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Why not roam farther afield and quote some o dem wacky Sunni and Shiite about their interpretations of the Koran? Or is is just Virginians you want to lampoon?

Posted by: Stick | January 29, 2007 8:06 AM

Some people just don't know when to shut up. It's always better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

Posted by: John Lease | January 29, 2007 9:02 AM

And people actually vote for Hargrove. . . .
Amazing.

Posted by: Reader | January 29, 2007 9:10 AM

What's amazing is people believing that books like the Old & New Testament and the Koran are real accounts of history and/or God's word.

Posted by: sjf | January 29, 2007 9:45 AM

Marc, don't you know you're supposed to put on a blindfold before you whack the pinata? This takes all the challenge out of it.

Posted by: crc | January 29, 2007 9:51 AM

Fisher attributed these things to Hargrove:

1. Blacks should get over slavery.
2. It might not make sense to force Jews to apologize for killing Christ.
3. He doesn't know who killed Christ.

So? How is this news? Do we think blacks should continue to dwell on slavery? Should we force Jews to apologize? Should Hargrove know who killed Christ?

These seem like reasonable positions that he's taken.

Posted by: Huh? | January 29, 2007 9:54 AM

I used to work with a guy who grew up in a family of fundamentalist Christians and was taught that everything in the Bible was literally true. He's an atheist now because he didn't want to pray to a god that according to the Bible was the first being to commit genocide.

Posted by: Arlington | January 29, 2007 9:56 AM

And how is Del. Hargrove's view of the New Testament supposed to relieve NOVA traffic woes or any of the pressing problems the commonwealth faces?

Posted by: dirrtysw | January 29, 2007 9:57 AM

Here, in a nutshell, is why religion--specifically the misuse of religous writings by cynical manipulators--is at the root of most major wars of the last, oh, couple of thousand years! In the end there is no difference between the "Christian" fundamentalist Jew-baiter and the "Islamic extremist" who does the same thing. If only these guys (and gals) would remember one of the basic tenets of all three major western world religions is 'Love thy neighbor'!

Posted by: Selden | January 29, 2007 10:09 AM

Hey Marc why dont you worry about the politcians where you live not ours here in VA. Why dont you do a little research and find out why the Mayor for Life was really in the hospital? Or about Mayor Fenty's shady dealings! The old guy was duly elected in Va by the voters. They can relect him in November or vote him out. Or if you must why not slam Bob Marshall who does more harm and is more of a bigot!

Posted by: Vaherder | January 29, 2007 10:18 AM

Marc: You need to contact the headline writer. The headline on the homepage says "More Widsom from Del. Hargrove".

Posted by: Anonymous | January 29, 2007 10:20 AM

Hey Vaherder, why don't you worry about your own newspaper not ours? Go back to the Fox News website to read what you want to hear instead of the truth. Maybe Virginia should join us in the 21st century. I'm sick of Bible quoting politicians. The Constitution guarantees seperation of Church and State.

Posted by: BD | January 29, 2007 10:47 AM

Actually, the Constitution itself doesn't mention anything about seperation of church and state, so you may want to check on that before you state it as fact. And many of these comments are right, why not focus on real issues? These little comments are nothing important. Comparing Hargrove to "Islamic extremists" is a fallacy.

Posted by: JL | January 29, 2007 11:30 AM

What is interesting is a majority of Virginian's voted to elect Delegate Hargrove . In other words, they must agree with him or he wouldn't get re-elected. Right or wrong, doesn't Delegate Hargrove have the right to Freedom of Speech?

As usual, the vocal minority get's the press and the silent majority have to listen/read this crap.

I'm still waiting for your article about the Muslim cab drivers refusing to give people a ride if they have been drinking or have alcohol with them - their excuse is religious principles. So much for not drinking and driving.

What would happen if I refused to employ somebody unless they acknowledge they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior?

I bet you would start a blog entry real quick on that one.

Everybody comment on this quickly because Marc will delete this post as soon as he reads it. We can't have the silent majority speaking out, can we. That privilege is reserved for the members of the press.

Posted by: SoMD | January 29, 2007 11:50 AM

JL, The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"

has historically been interpreted (by the Supreme Court, not just me) to guarantee separation of church and State though it does not explicitly contain those words.

Here is an excerpt from an opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black in 1947:
The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of (Thomas) Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."

I did check my facts, thanks.

Posted by: BD | January 29, 2007 12:07 PM

SoMd: Did you miss third grade civics class?

A "majority of Virginian's" did not vote for this old coot. He doesn't hold statewide office. He got the most votes in his rural, redneck district -- it's probably a lot like where you live.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | January 29, 2007 12:21 PM

Interesting "BD", that you ignore the passage from your own post:

"No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, ..."

And yet, you want to belittle/condemn Delegate Hargrove for professing his faith. Or are you saying the elected officials are not "people"? Or do elected officials have fewer rights to Freedom of Speech than other people?


Posted by: SoMD | January 29, 2007 12:23 PM

SoMD, What would happen if you refused to employ someone because they were drunk... isn't that a more fair analogy? I do agree that the cab drivers are wrong however and should lose their hack licenses (according to the law) for refusing to take a fare. I have had many cab drivers refuse to pick me up for one reason or another that had nothing to do with religion or race, but there is no enforcement and it has nothing to do with the liberal media. That being said, I'm not following your logic. How is there something wrong with a political column critizing a politician because there are bad muslim cab drivers. That makes as much sense as saying you shouldn't write about the Son of Sam because Jeffery Dommer killed people.

Posted by: BD | January 29, 2007 12:23 PM

I didn't read a single post here that wanted to punish Del. Hargrove and there is a difference between one's private beliefs and practices and acts or statements made in an official capacity. If the things he says are idiotic he might get called out for it. He has the right to Free Speech, not the right to speech free of criticism.

Posted by: SoMD | January 29, 2007 12:32 PM

My favorite religion is the Lord of The Rings. I really think Gandalf matches up pretty favorably to Jesus/Yaweh/Allah. I like Narnia too. Did Jesus ride a lion ever?

Posted by: Religion isn't for idiot simpletons! | January 29, 2007 12:33 PM

Sorry for putting wrong name in previous copy of this post:

I didn't read a single post here that wanted to punish Del. Hargrove and there is a difference between one's private beliefs and practices and acts or statements made in an official capacity. If the things he says are idiotic he might get called out for it. He has the right to Free Speech, not the right to speech free of criticism.

Posted by: BD | January 29, 2007 12:34 PM

Sorry 'bout that "Loudoun Voter". I had no idea Loudon county was such a metropolis now. Hope you enjoy your 12 lane freeway up there in the big city. As far my post, I expected name calling because that is the usual response I get when somebody can't think of anything intelligent to say.

As far as understanding the voting process, next time I will make myself crystal clear for you and not leave out details: Instead of saying "What is interesting is a majority of Virginian's voted to elect Delegate Hargrove" I will say "What is interesting is a majority of Virginian's eligible to vote for Delegate Hargrove chose to do so".

Plain enough for you?

Can't play any more. Gotta go shuck them oysters and put some crabs in into the bushel baskets (whilst chawing my tobacci").

Posted by: SoMD | January 29, 2007 12:38 PM

Hey SoMD: Whilst chawing your tobaccy, you might want to look into the plural of Virginian.

And by the way, if you have some evidence that Hargrove campaigned on a "no apology for slavery" platform, by all means share it. Then you might be able to claim that most of his constituents agree with his idiocy.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | January 29, 2007 12:57 PM

but, Stiok, isn't the point of our invasion of Iraq -- or at least this week's version -- that we were going to replace their flawed Sunni and Shiite system with our vastly superior one? If so, we should make sure that we keep the whackos behind closed doors. Or maybe just close all the bridges from Virginia.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 29, 2007 2:27 PM

I've read Jefferson's letter which first contained the phrase "seperation of church and state." There's nothing in the establishment clause which prohibits a public official from personally expressing his faith. He did not write such beliefs in a bill, and it was not at a press conference, so I would say it was not in an official capacity. Let him do as he feels. If his constituents disagree, vote him out. But once again, equating him to Islamic extremists is nothing but fallacy. One says "Well, I don't it hold it agaisnt you, but I think the Jews killed Jesus" is completely different from beheading people. Don't say that the thought process is the same either.

Posted by: JL | January 29, 2007 2:34 PM

****
Interesting "BD", that you ignore the passage from your own post:

"No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, ..."

And yet, you want to belittle/condemn Delegate Hargrove for professing his faith. Or are you saying the elected officials are not "people"? Or do elected officials have fewer rights to Freedom of Speech than other people?
*****
SoMD, "Punish[ment]" in this context refers to punishment by the state or federal government. Getting mocked/belittled/condemned by a reporter (or anyone else) is not punishment. Hargrove is free to say things that baffle and offend people, and columnists are free to write their take on it.

Posted by: Babs | January 29, 2007 5:32 PM

SoMD, why are you being so anal about wanting to see a story concerning a Muslim cab driver in DC? And what makes you so self-centered that you think Marc would delete one of your posts? For someone that is apparently is a postion to make hiring decisions for your company, you certainly have some prejudice against Muslims. Wow, so much for EEO. Or does your company not have to abide by that policy?

Posted by: bea | January 29, 2007 7:24 PM

OK, so Hargrove's an idiot. Now, did anyone get a Farakhan-esque vibe while watching news videos of Fenty at a crime scene with the acting chief of police? He was dressed like a character from a movie (or Jack Abramoff, whichever you like), and he had a security man behind him dressed exactly like him, glowering. Let's be grownups please.

Posted by: robert7ii | January 30, 2007 5:20 AM

Sorry to lower the average intellect on this high-brow blog, but can someone please explain how the idea that Jews killed Jesus is any more offensive than the notion that Romans killed Caesar? Jesus was a Jewish man in a Jewish town with a theocratic government....who else was there? The French?

Posted by: -can you 'splain it? | January 30, 2007 8:55 AM

I'm curious if anyone here can show that what Hargrove said is incorrect. His statements have been *politically* incorrect, certainly.

Aside from gratuitous insults, I've seen little here in the form of an intelligent rebuttal of Hargrove's comments.

Posted by: todd | January 30, 2007 9:28 AM

"....who else was there? The French?" - The Romans, of course. You know, the people who technically were the rulers of Judea? The people who executed criminals by crucifying them, as opposed to the Jews, who executed criminals by stoning them? Pontius Pilate was not a Jew, and he was the one in authority ordering Jesus's executions. The soldiers who carried out the crucifixion were Romans. The motivation for his execution was Roman - he threatened Roman authority by claiming to be the Messiah, the returned Jewish king who would drive out foreign interlopers.
_Some_ Jews in community leadership roles _may_ have handed him over to the Romans, yes, but mainly out of justified fear that if they did not, and Jesus did end up inciting a rebellion (and he was showing dangerous signs of doing that) the Romans would retaliate in force, killing many (including many innocents) and possibly destroying Jerusalem. Indeed, in a few decades, the Jews did rebel, and the Romans did crush them in force - many, many innocent people died, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Temple was destroyed.
If you were in a position of power, would you risk a whole city of lives for one man who, for all you can tell, is merely a dangerous radical religious fanatic?

Posted by: Katja | January 30, 2007 9:38 AM

"What is interesting is a majority of Virginian's eligible to vote for Delegate Hargrove chose to do so"

BZZZZ. Wrong again SoMD.

A majority of the Virginian's who *showed up to vote* voted for Hargrove. Turnout in his last election was under 50% of those eligible, in fact. So your previous gaffe, your inability to use the plural form of "Virginian", and now this catastrophe have ruled you to dumb to post on this thread. Bye now.

Posted by: NoVA is better than SoMD | January 30, 2007 10:22 AM

"...can someone please explain how the idea that Jews killed Jesus is any more offensive than the notion that Romans killed Caesar?" Because the idea that Jews killed Jesus has been used for a millennium to justify atrocities committed by Christians against Jews: pogroms, the expulsion of Jews from England (1200s), Spain (1492) and Portugal (1500s), persecution during the Crusades, the forcing of Jews to live in ghettos, mob attacks on the aforesaid ghettos ... the list goes on and on.

When an idea has such a long and ugly history, I think it's reasonable to be a bit sensitive about its being raised AGAIN, and by a person with political power, no less. There's no history of persecuting Romans for having killed Christ.

Posted by: dmsp | January 30, 2007 10:23 AM

"and now this catastrophe have ruled you to dumb to post on this thread. Bye now."

Hey, Nova, get somebody with a 3-digit IQ to explain the difference b/t "too" and "to."

And since you found it necessary to mock somebody else's ability to use the language, I trust that we won't see you back here again. Buh-bye.


As for the never-ending chant about somebody insulting the Jews over killing Jesus... Hargrove wasn't doing that, but then, the context of his comments obviously escaped those who are always primed to pounce on anyone who they deem is not a "progressive."

Hargrove was suggesting that apologizing for slavery was just as silly as blaming the Jews for killing Jesus. Yes, slavery is a part of Virginia's past. But it's a distant past, and nobody alive -- indeed, no living person's granparent -- was a slave or a slaveowner.

Killing Jesus is in fact a part Jewish history. But it's waaaaaay back in history, and it's ludicrous to blame anybody today for what happened back then.

Get it?

Posted by: todd | January 30, 2007 10:50 AM

Todd, the difference of course being that while de jure slavery ended with the 13th Amendment, de facto slavery continued in Virginia post-Reconstruction, and white Virginians like Hargrove have never faced up to the deleterious after-effects of either slavery or Jim Crow on black Virginians. Making believe that institutionalized racism is all ancient history is obvious evidence of that.

Posted by: Matt in NoVa | January 30, 2007 12:03 PM

Fair enough. Then let's apologize (for whatever that's worth) for something that has actually harmed Virginians alive today. Apologize for Jim Crow, apologize for state-sanctioned segregation.

But let's apologize for something that people alive today had some part in, on both sides of the equation.

Posted by: todd | January 30, 2007 1:38 PM

Todd:

Your math skills are lacking; I attended a birthday party last saturday for a 100 year
old woman whose grandparents were slaves and her parents were sharecroppers.

Posted by: TomPaine | January 30, 2007 6:53 PM

I'm sure todd knows what he's talking about. He probably read it in a text book. Or maybe his daddy told him that story while they were sipping sweet tea under a confederate flag.

Posted by: Yankee | January 30, 2007 8:41 PM

JL said:

"I've read Jefferson's letter which first contained the phrase "seperation of church and state." There's nothing in the establishment clause which prohibits a public official from personally expressing his faith. He did not write such beliefs in a bill, and it was not at a press conference, so I would say it was not in an official capacity."

You are burying yourself in continued ignorant statements that ignore historical facts. In FACT, Thomas Jefferson DID write exactly that, it was called the Virginia STATUTE of Religious Freedom, written during his term in the Virginia legislature. Also, incidentally, a STATUTE begins as a bill, and this particular STATUTE served as THE inspiration for the First Amendment that was part of the BILL OF RIGHTS that amended the US Constitution. You know, the one that George Mason refused to sign precisely because it did not contain a Bill of Rights that guaranteed no interference of the government in freedom of practice of religion, or freedom to practice ANY religion.

Also, it might be pertinent to note that Jefferson's EARLY (pre-constitutional) writings refer to the separation of church and state, in addition to the oft letter from late in his life to Madison that is almost cliche. Also, Jefferson EXPLICITLY mentioned that Jews and Muslims should be free to practice their religion just as any Christian would be free to do or not do so.

Good night from Mount Vernon.

Posted by: Doug in Mount Vernon | January 31, 2007 1:44 AM

This guy, Eric Fingerhut, has a blog as well. It's pretty cool and on a wide variety of topics. Check it out:

http://www.thefingerman.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Reader | January 31, 2007 9:30 AM

"Huh?"

The name says it all. You haven't got a clue.

Signed, a successful Black Man who will never "get over" slavery and who will never apologize to any white male loser who can't "get over" Affirmative Action.

Have a nice life.

Posted by: CEEAF | January 31, 2007 2:52 PM

CEEAF, thank you for keeping the divide alive and strong.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 1, 2007 8:29 AM

"CEEAF, thank you for keeping the divide alive and strong."

Don't fault me. Fault the traditionally- advantaged who simply don't get it.

The other day, I heard a radio talk-show host rant on about how so-called minorities and women who get into top universities and get good jobs are robbing white males of their "birthright".

Now we have to listen to some half-senile, tired ex-segregationist, anti-semitic, idiot "representative" and his even-stupider supporters who say we should "get over" slavery and you have the unmitigated gall to chastise me for not liking it?

Puhleez!!!

If my keeping quiet like a good boy is what it takes to make you think I'm "on board" to "end the divide", I beg your pardon!

Posted by: CEEAF | February 1, 2007 1:47 PM

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