Editor’s note: The following post contains graphic and vulgar language. Discretion is advised.
Much furor has surrounded author Reza Aslan’s new book about Jesus, as noted yesterday in our analysis of its theological claims. And while the “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” author has gained a fair bit of sympathy in the wake of his viral cable TV interview, some revelations from his Twitter account are raising eyebrows.
Aslan, an academic who has repeatedly driven home his credentials, has regularly issued profanity-laced tweets and nasty — even vicious — responses to those who disagree with his works and claims. From calling critics “fat” to flatly dismissing them, this dynamic is apparently nothing new. And now he’s even introduced a Glenn Beck element to his account.
Consider one of his more shocking messages — one that was issued in reference to conservative commentator Robert Spencer back in early 2012: “Dear Robert Spencer. Stop begging for my attention. I’ll never take U seriously. P.S. I don’t think UR fat & gay. I think UR fat & stupid.”
And that’s only one of the odd messages.
The author has also taken aim at Beck in the past. In May 2012, he tweeted, “Holy S**t! Did I read this right? Glenn Beck made $80 million this year? That’s like Romney money! Man, hate sells”
After Beck covered Aslan’s progressive connections on TheBlaze TV on Wednesday night, the author even changed the headline image on his Twitter profile to one that features Beck. Here’s a screen shot of Aslan’s Twitter profile:
A list of additional compiled tweets shows that Aslan has repeatedly used profanity in the past when responding to detractors. Just a few of his critiques go as follows: “Get your head out of your a**,” “Are you f***ing joking?” and “You are truly boring the s**t out of me.”
Here are some of his other responses (one which dates back to 2011) to twitter users who have criticized him (as compiled by BuzzFeed — caution language):
Last night, the author responded to criticism about his language and how he responds to those he disagrees with. Defending himself, Aslan wrote, “Seriously if calling hatemongers “a**holes” and trolls “s**t for brains” makes me a jerk then I proudly accept title
So, there you have it. It’s certainly some off-color language for an academic and, based on his television interviews thus far promoting the book, somewhat unexpected. But he defends it.
Featured Image Credit: Screen shot from book cover (Random House)