Joel Belz apologizes for World editorial
After The Weekly Standard called World's September 22 editorial "over the edge" and "contemptible," one might have expected World publisher Joel Belz to issue a response defending "biblical journalism." Instead, readers of the magazine will receive an apology in their mailboxes this week. "While it was right to say that such monstrous evil as occurred on Sept. 11 was the result of sin—both specific and general—it was wrong to allow the inference to be drawn that we know whose sin was involved," Belz says. "When we said under a picture of New York going up in flames that this was 'The wages of sin,' I can appreciate how some readers thought we were also saying that the victims had gotten exactly what they deserved." Belz laments that his editorial was unfortunately lumped in with Jerry Falwell's comments, but says he should have "gone to extra pains to stress that we don't know the mind of God on such matters." And like Falwell, Belz's apology explicitly says, "The blame belongs to the terrorists—and only the terrorists."

In a separate editorial, World editor Marvin Olasky seems to disagree with Belz's apology. "[Belz] was presenting an orthodox biblical view that should not have brought forth rejoinders such as 'contemptible,'" he says. "Overkill remarks of that kind suggest that the language of repentance, once spoken by most Americans, is now a foreign tongue. … Was Lincoln contemptible in 1863 when he called for a national day of prayer by asserting that all people should 'confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow'?"

Sheldon: Don't give gays relief funds
When Jerry Falwell blamed homosexuals for helping to cause the 9/11 terror attacks (yes, yes, he apologized), many criticized him, saying they had nothing to do with the tragedy. Now Lou Sheldon says homosexuals really shouldn't have anything to do with the tragedy. Well, that's not exactly what he's saying. The Traditional Values Coalition chairman says gay rights organizations are "taking advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda," and that surviving members of same-sex couples shouldn't receive aid from public and private relief agencies.

Finally, cross photos
Nearly two weeks ago, Weblog noted Rod Dreher's New York Post column on the crosses of the World Trade Center wreckage. "You are looking at what some people believe is a miracle," Dreher's column began. But the supposedly multimedia Web let us down: the text was there, but no photos. Likewise, today's edition of The New York Times notes an informal ceremony yesterday where Franciscan priest Brian J. Jordan blessed one of the crosses. In print, the paper runs a 8.5"x6" photo. Online? Nothing. Fortunately, the Associated Press comes through with multiple shots, both day and night. Here's a muddier photo.

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