An Exhibition of Conservative Paranoia
Exhibit 67: WND's Arch of Fake News
WorldNetDaily tries to turn a reconstruction of the historic Arch of Palmyra -- meant as an act of defiance to the ISIS militants who destroy priceless artifacts -- into a metaphor for the return of pagan worship. Does WND side with ISIS on the destruction?
By Terry Krepel
In October 2015, WorldNetDaily stole an article from the Jerusalem Post detailing how "ISIS militants have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a major monument in the 2,000-year-old Roman city of Palmyra," among other historical artifacts at the UNESCO World Heritage site. "The group considers the buildings sacrilegious," the article continued.
Apparently WND is on the same side as ISIS in this senseless destruction, for it too considers an attempt to reconstruct the arch sacrilegious.
The first sense of freakout at WND over the arch came in an anonymously written March 2016 article, which immediately keyed in on the whole "Temple of Baal" stuff:
Visitors next month to Times Square in New York or Leicester Square in London are in for a culture shock a life-size reproduction of the Temple of Baal.
While WND did concede that the reconstruction "meant by organizers from the Institute of Digital Archaeology as a statement of “defiance” against ISIS," it also found a random blogger to claim that "the truth is that many of the elements of ancient Baal worship are being mirrored in our society in 2016."
WND quoted another random blogger making a stealth attack against President Obama: "For the last 8 years as a nation we have begged God to leave us alone and to remove Himself from our affairs."
Well, the newest wrinkle in our trek to insanity is that to sympathize with, or to show support for, a particular group of people, America and England are going to have full-size, 48-foot temple entrances of the god “Baal” erected in New York’s Times Square and Trafalgar Square in London.
Kinchlow's and WND's freakouts, however, omitted the full history of the arch. While the temple did start as a worship site for a pagan god, the temple was converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine Era and, later, a mosque.
When the arch's reconstruction finally took place in New York in September, WND gave its main cash cow, Jonathan Cahn, to wax prophetically about it, as he's wont to do. As one would expect from a guy who wrote a book called "The Harbinger," Cahn declared this a harbinger as well:
The idea that anything linked to an ancient Canaanite god would be erected in America would seem unthinkable. But just as it was with the nine ancient harbingers of judgment, so it has now taken place the Sign of Baal has manifested on American soil.
Missing from Cahn's article -- as well as from the accompanying video, which adds distracting, ominous-sounding background music and an echo to Cahn's voice to make him sound more authoritative -- is a bunch of important information: the full history of the temple, the fate of the original arch and why the replica was created. Cahn seemingly wants you to think this was done apropos of nothing other than to fulfill his own prophecies.
Jonathan Cahn in from of the Arch of Palmyra reconstruction in New York City.
A few days later, WND did a follow-up article rehashing much of what Cahn said. This article did admit the original temple was destroyed by ISIS and quoted officials calling it an act of "solidarity" with those "lost in Syria," and "a symbol of freedom," but adding that "Cahn said it was anything but a symbol of freedom." Cahn is not quoted as further discussing ISIS' role in the destruction.
Which raises the question: Does Cahn endorse ISIS' destruction of a priceless, centuries-old historical artifact?
While Cahn and ISIS may not share religious views, they seem to align on their hatred for certain ancient relics -- ISIS because it thinks any shrines or statues implying the existence of another deity are sacrilege and idolatry, Cahn because he despises pagan gods. (Again, never mind that the temple had also served as both a church and a mosque.)
So it seems Cahn is cool with ISIS on this act of destruction, and perhaps with the obliteration of other pagan-linked site and artifacts by ISIS. Is that the kind of person who should be taken seriously?
The same question can be asked of WND, whose complete refusal to consistently report the full story of the arch and place a distorted focus only on salacious tales of pagan gods and its own version of end-times eschatology makes this this entire thing fake news.
The reconstruction has popped up again in February, and WND returned to its fake-news ways, as an anonymous WND writer intoned:
It was unveiled in London. It was displayed in New York, just steps away from Ground Zero. And now, the harbinger of the pagan god Baal has been used to welcome participants to a summit dedicated to “world government.”
What a cheap political shot -- which seems to be the main goal of this anonymous writer's screed. WND provides no actual evidence linking "liberals" to Baal worship.
The anonymous WND writer even catches birther pastor Carl Gallups in full hateful froth:
Pastor Carl Gallups, author of “When the Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies for Our Time,” agreed the arch is a symbol of rebellion against God, and its presence at a meeting dedicated to “world government” is ominous.
Even the anonymous writer's boss gets a say:
Yet all of this is ultimately a reflection of the largest story in world history the battle of the one true God of Israel versus the false gods created by man.
As before, this anonymous WND writer fails to detail the post-pagan history of the temple and arch, and censors the fact that the reconstruction has everything to do with preserving history in the face of ISIS radicals who would destroy it and nothing whatsoever to do with rekindling worship of pagan gods.
In other words, WND is sticking to its fake-news story on the arch -- and it makes one wonder if they're censoring the full story because they secretly support ISIS on the arch's destruction.