For those who value their sanity and general peace of mind, NRO has long since ceased to be part of their regular reading, but recently there has been a small hubbub over the objections raised by Mark Shea to this effort at promoting softcore pro-Israel propaganda.  For what it’s worth, the ad ought to be as distasteful to Orthodox Christians, who find any trivialisation or denigration of the Theotokos to be something deplorable.

In response to the criticism, Shea has written:

Now the amazing thing to me is that, of all the things NRO could be doing, they chose to go to bat for *this*. And not just go to bat for it, but claim that criticism of it is an attempt to “turn us against a brave ally”. Because, of course, anything less than uncritical acceptance of anything the Israelis might choose to do–right down to a blasphemous jiggle ad–is endorsement of the idea of pushing Israel into the sea.

Shea is beginning to understand how many of the people at NRO see things. 

In his original post, Shea wrote:

This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how long American Evangelicals (and even some Catholics) can be snookered by the notion that Israel is something other than a secular nation-state.

That is the real question.  If it is really just a secular nation-state with all that this entails, the religious enthusiasm about it at some point becomes absurd.  That was the point of Shea’s original observation.  The point was not to “turn us against a brave ally fighting a just war.”  The complete inability to distinguish between critiques of sleazy or offensive “pro-Israel” P.R. and attacks on “a brave ally” is one of the reasons why many so-called “pro-Israel” pundits seem less and less credible all the time.