For the past few years, WorldNetDaily has been obsessing over reconstructions of ancient ruins destroyed by ISIS -- particularly the arch to the Temple of Palmyra, or the Temple of Baal as WND insists on calling it -- ludicrously portraying them as a return to paganism instead of the poke in the eye from historians to the artifacts' destroyers that they actually are.
An anonymously written Sept. 16 WND article goes the freakout route again complaining that the arch "will reappear in Washington, D.C." This time, though, WND admits in the second paragraph that "The original in the Middle East was destroyed by ISIS in October 2015, but it was re-created by the Institute for Digital Archaeology using 3-D printing technology."
But WND descends soon enough into its rote, ridiculous accusations of idolatry:
But the arch isn’t just a Roman ruin. It was originally an arch for the Temple of Baal, a pagan god repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament. The rites of Baal were marked by child sacrifice and ritual prostitution.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, told BIN it’s a symbol of a resurgence of idolatry.
“The last time we saw this level of idolatry was when the Temple stood in Jerusalem. Now that we are close to the appearance of the Third Temple, idolatry is reappearing, even in popular culture among people who claim they are atheists,” he told the news organization.
The rabbi said it is no coincidence that the arch is becoming a centerpiece at gatherings of world leaders.
“This is like a child who builds a Lego tower that gets knocked down,” Rabbi Berger said. “After having it knocked down several times, he goes to build the Lego tower next to his mother so that she will stop it from being knocked down. An average person, Jew or non-Jew, has no tolerance for open idolatry. If someone built an altar to idolatry in the middle of a nice neighborhood, everyone would gather together to destroy it. The average person has no desire for idolatry. So the people who seek dark and unholy power build their symbols of idolatry next to powerful politicians, at these world power summits, so that normal people will not be able to challenge them.”
While WND did take the unusual step of admitting that ISIS destroyed the original arch, it once again failed to mention that the temple served as a Christian church during the Byzantine era. That would seem to be an important part of its history that WND is strangely choosing to ignore.
UPDATE: WND followed up with a Sept. 30 article that actually blamed the "craziness that enveloped Washington" surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh nomination on the arch replica's presence in Washington:
Some are asking the question of whether the craziness that enveloped Washington last week might be connected with Baal – kind of like a full moon.
Who made the decision? Why? Who knows? Maybe it’s just a coincidence – even though many observers of the Supreme Court nomination hearings that took all the oxygen out of the capital last week note that the entire process had to do with abortion.
Other are questioning whether the disposition of the Arch of Palmyra might bring a semblance of normality to D.C. today.
WND does not identify who these "observers" or "other[s]" are who are making this claim.
The article went on to rehash all the Baal stuff from previous arch freakouts and again failed to mention that at one time the temple served as a Christian church. It also cited anonymous, unsourced claims by "some on social media" criticizing the arch.