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Saved by God's Gollums

"Saved by God's Gollums" Continued...

Issue: "The battle," March 24, 2012

My playful column turned into the farce that launched 1,000 quips. Publications did not note the Tom Wolfe context, so it seemed I equated Judaism with Zeus worship. A typical lead read, "GEORGE W. BUSH has a new religious flap on his hands-his adviser Marvin Olasky has claimed three reporters, all Jews, who have criticized Bush, follow the 'religion of Zeus.'" Trifecta time: Slammed in The Washington Post, The New York Post, and The Jerusalem Post. Some who researched my background salted their stories with suggestions that I was a Jewish anti-Semite.

I tried to write or call each journalist who wrote such things. Jewish journalists tended to be sympathetic, but with others it was like playing an arcade Whack-a-Mole game and trying to hit each head with a mallet before it retreats back to its hole. The reporters kept popping up to play Whack-a-Molasky faster and faster, sometimes simultaneously, until there was no way to knock them all down. Many were unapologetic: A Washington Post reporter told me his reporting was fair because "Jews rhymes with Zeus."

The scorn was rightly mine because I had carelessly offered an opening. And yet, God's Gollums brought misery but help, because small step by small step I had fallen into a yearning for what C.S. Lewis in 1944 called the "inner ring," the group (often behind the scenes) that seems to run things. He said this desire becomes paramount "in all men's lives at certain periods, and in many men's lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age."

I had thought myself immune, but inner ring yearning is like a malaria-bearing mosquito that will squeeze through even a small hole in a bednet. My small hole was the desire to see a concept I had developed put into presidential practice. The national press coverage early in 2000 destroyed my inner ring prospects: That was a hard mercy, because I would not have relinquished them freely.

C.S. Lewis in 1944 said, "The quest of the Inner Ring will break your heart unless you break it." But many people are weak and, like me, need to have God break it.

Read other episodes in this multi-part biographical series.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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