February 06, 2004

Defector

Maybe it's just a bad translation. This story, linked by Drudge earlier in the day, is about a German game show called the "Judas Game," in which someone tries to convince the audience he's honest. Understandably, Jewish groups are upset at the insensitivity -- you could just as easily call the show the Confidence Game (the great German writer Thomas Mann wrote a novella and a novel called the Confidence Man) and get the same point across. What caught my eye was the bizarre identifcation of Judas:

Judas is the name of the man recorded in the New Testament as defecting from Jesus.

"Defecting" from Jesus? Who is he, Kim Philby? Did he sell out the plans for the Lord's Supper for some frankincense?

I can understand the desire to have language that doesn't incite -- why not this: "According to the Gospels, Judas was the disciple of Jesus who betrayed him. Though Judas was a Christian, over the centuries after the crucifixion many Christian theologians cited his Jewish heritage to justify their anti-Semitism."

Posted by Ideofact at February 6, 2004 11:33 PM
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